This week, the discussion question over on the iTDi blog is How do you use technology in your classes? I’ll be honest … I sort of expected that all of the posts (except for my own) would gush about the wonders of technology in teaching. I know that’s a dreadful generalization, but almost all of this week’s authors are digital natives, and quite tech savvy. This generalization sounds worse and worse, doesn’t it, especially when I know that the whole digital native and immigrant distinction is rarely worth the space used to describe it. But sometimes, in online networks, saying anything cautionary about using technology in teaching seens about as popular as saying anything favorable about coursebooks Continue reading →
I got an email recently about a new iPhone app from Edublogs, which is the platform I use for my class blog. Since today is the day I teach at the community center (no Internet except for my phone) and I had planned to have students review language, it was a good opportunity to try it out. While it isn’t really an app for role plays, that was the use I had in mind for today’s lesson. Continue reading →
Every once in a way you hear someone say something so true that everything inside you shifts a little. Lights go off in your mind. Pieces of things you’ve been thinking about for years suddenly get tied together, and all at once you wind up with a new frame for the window you use to see the world.
This happened to me a few years ago when I heard community activist Bob Stilger say, “every community is full of leaders just waiting to be asked to step forward”. Those words from Bob helped me to reframe and redefine my thinking, the same way that Steven Herder’s now famous statements about collaboration did. When I first heard Steven say, “Anything I can do, we can do better (together)” and “collaboration provides just the right amount of pressure to get things done” similar bright lights went off inside me as a new framework took hold. It is now not too much to say that these statements have come to define how I think about community building, collaboration, and leadership. Continue reading →
I’ve been out of town, so am just now getting caught up on the last round of posts on the iTDi blog about working with difficult students. If life happened to interfere with your chance to read those posts, please do. They’re as inspiring as always.
“Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.” – Bob Dylan
Listen. Although I had a chance to tell you all this in my recent post on the iTDi Blog, I didn’t. Rather than write about staying healthy, I wrote about motivation. Then I read Chiew Pang’s wonderful post How To Stay Healthy The Cheap and Easy Way and decided to tell the whole story, and by doing so, the truth. Continue reading →
I feel a bit strange if I count the number of years I have been working as an English teacher. Seventeen years, that is, a bit less than half my life. During this time I have been able to experience changes in my country, in my profession, but and this is the most important for me, I haven’t got bored with it at all. Life-long passion I would say. Let’s see how it started. Continue reading →
I’m tired today. Actually a lot of teachers I know are tired. Whether we’re teaching long days at a language school, or large classes at a public school, or teaching at multiple schools to try and pay the bills, teaching can be a tiring job. Burning the work candle at both ends makes it a challenge to stay healthy, and feeling less than valued by employers makes it hard to stay motivated. I was very interested in reading the teacher posts on the iTDi blog this week because they deal with this very topic–how to stay healthy and motivated. As always, I got a lot of great, practical tips, and food for thought. Continue reading →
In her previous post, Teaching Songs and Chants in the Classroom, Marsha Goren shared a set of worksheets she had created to accompany the songs on the first GiggleBellies CD. This morning, Marsha sent me a message and attached a new set of worksheets to go along with the second GiggleBellies CD. Continue reading →
Some ideas on why and how to use short stories in the language classroom
This morning, while I was greeting students at the front door of my high school, Miki-Chan, a second year student in the International Course, came up to me with a book in hand. She slapped her palm against the cover and said, “This is a horrible story to read in the morning. It says, ‘people were cut up like meat.’” I’m not sure exactly how she wanted me to respond. She was reading a Sherlock Holmes story from a collection in a lower-intermediate level graded reader. We had read the first half in class and students had to finish the story as homework. While I was thinking of an appropriate reply, she huffed off. Continue reading →