Note from Barb: If you’ve been over to the iTDi blog this week, you’ll know that the theme is What I’ve learned in 2012. I was thrilled when Ratna suggested a post on the same topic for Teaching Village since our Villagers are always learning from each other. I think a lot of you will be able to relate to the lessons learned by Ratna this year, and by Scott, John, Yitzha, Ann, Divya, and Chuck (in their iTDi posts). I know I did!
What have I learned……
…….and am still learning, I must say. My oh my, what a “box-of-chocolates” this year’s been for me! Full of surprises and beyond what I would’ve possibly envisioned. 2012 has, indeed, been so productive that I count my blessings everyday for each moment and opportunity that’s knocked on my door. And this gently nudges me back to the question : so, what have I learned from The Wise Master 2012?
Or rather, been reminded that C.H.A.N.G.E is, inevitably, the only constant in my life. I left my teaching career back home and landed in South Korea – no job, no contacts, literally the land of the unknown. It was rather intimidating at first especially for someone who’s held a stable job and whose trips abroad were solely for vacations. But I embraced this change wholeheartedly and realized that when one ventures into the unknown the experience can be momentously enriching. I grew to believe that every change is an experiential learning process; most importantly, change holds an underlying reason.
Which then led me into learning….
that there really are no coincidences in life. Do you believe in destiny? I do. I believe that my move was a best laid plan — destined for me to reevaluate myself as an educator beyond the confinement of my physical workplace. I learned that professional development wasn’t merely referring to lesson observations, workshop discussions and yearly appraisals. I discovered the power of social media and how closely-connected we are in the teaching world; how much we inspire and be inspired by one another. And then there’s the remarkable world of ELT blogging where great teaching ideas may just be a blog away!
And all this learning…..
has taught me to break free from my comfort zone and move beyond my self-imposed limitations of how I can grow professionally. As James Taylor put it, “Just say yes to yourself when you can’t do it, but doing it anyway”. The key to any effort is consistency; the more consistent I am, the better my professional development is. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?
And with that…..
I’d like to end with no particular “ELT-philosophy”; just loads of warm radiance and wishing that the stars of health, prosperity and happiness shines down upon your 2013 journey. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Friends!
Note: This article by Ratnavathy Ragunathan originally appeared as a guest post on Teaching Village and is licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Non Commercial, No Derivatives 3.0 License. If you wish to share it you must re-publish it “as is”, and retain any credits, acknowledgements, and hyperlinks within it.