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Why I Love Teachers

WTD2009

WTD2009There are teachers, and there are Teachers. I respect anyone who steps into a classroom, but I adore educators for whom teaching is as much a vocation as a job.

Why?

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A 1.5 Million Yen Secret (by Steven Herder)

If you read Stories from the Front Lines of EFL, and thought, “I’d really like to be part of this project, but I’m not sure anyone would be interested in my story” then this post is for you.

Answering just a few important questions can give you the confidence to share your thoughts and ideas about teaching. It may take a bit of time, some reading and some effort, but anyone can do it. You can benefit yourself and all of us by taking this step in your own development as a teacher. Everyone has some great successes from the classroom to share, and all of us really do want to learn from you. (more…)

When Did I Become a Teacher? (by Conchi Martínez de Tejada)

It’s difficult to pinpoint the precise moment when you become a professional in your area. Some will say it’s when you start your degree, others when you finish it still others will say it’s when you start working. Even more people feel that they need years of experience in order to consider themselves a so-called professional.

In my case, I don’t know when I became a teacher. Maybe it was when my parents hung a blackboard behind my bedroom door. Maybe when I first arranged all my teddy bears and my little cousins as my first students. It might have started many years later when I wanted to drop out from my dreary Economics degree and I bought books about teaching, but I didn’t have the courage to actually follow through on my instinct (fate, desire, willingness) at that time. Maybe it happened when I left my bank job, went to Yemen and by chance ended up in front of 20 Yemeni men teaching them English. It might also have been when I came back to Spain from living in Laos and I studied Education. Or maybe it started a month and a half ago when I got my position to work in a primary school in a village in my home region of Extremadura, Spain. (more…)

Individual Differences Count (by Mike Harrison)


“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family”

Virginia Satir, author and psychotherapist (1916-1988)

My experience as a teacher of English is not vast – I am currently in my third year as a full-time teacher and have taught in Spain and the UK – but seeing my learners as individuals is something I have always tried to do. I actually had to trawl the net for the above quote, but I think it was worth it. It encapsulates for me what a good learning environment, with teachers and learners included, should be. (more…)

How to integrate blogging in EFL teaching (by Christina Markoulaki)

I am pretty confident that a vast majority of EFL

teachers relish blogging, but each one employs this practice in his/her teaching differently. I am therefore taking the initiative to write this post to ask and give an answer to this question:  Have you ever thought of creating a blog for your students to use? A blog that will challenge them to think, to produce the target language and subsequently demonstrate their work to the world? (more…)

Things I’m happy to know (by Tamas Lorincz)

I jumped at the opportunity to contribute to what I believe to be one of the best blogs in the EFL  blogosphere.

I allocated an hour to writing this post, and even after 12 hours of fruitless toil, I am none the wiser.

The fruitless attempts wordle

http://wordle.net

What should every EFL teacher know?

I have been trying to find the answer to this question for twenty years. I always believed that I knew what it was and then I lost it again and had to look for it anew. But now I have realised that this search was the answer. (more…)

Lessons Learned from Great Educators

This post is in response to Shelly Terrell’s wonderful blogging challenge, Lessons Learned From Great Eductators. She tagged other teachers to share stories about teachers who influenced them, and I’ve been enjoying reading those posts (you can find links to the response posts in the comments at the bottom of Shelly’s original post). I sort of invited myself to the party by commenting about a teacher who inspired me, and Shelly was gracious enough to invite this party crasher to join the group :)

I never wanted to be anything but a teacher.

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Life in the Virtual Teacher’s Lounge

Part of the series Giving Second Life a Second Chance

The virtual teacher's lounge

The virtual teacher's lounge

I love teacher’s lounges in the same way I love coffee breaks at conferences. They’re great places to make friends and build professional networks (same people, different roles). The people I meet become my partners in learning.

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Exploration for Personal and Professional Gain

Part of the series Giving Second Life a Second Chance

Professional development in Second Life is generally one of two types: using Second Life as a place to learn about things, and learning how to use tools in Second Life to do things (like teach). In both cases, it’s the people you meet who matter most–they will teach you, learn with you, and challenge you. Without people, Second Life is just a pretty computer graphic with some spiffy special effects. 

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International Conferences You Can Attend in Your Jammies

Part of the series Giving Second Life a Second Chance

Once you feel comfortable moving around and interacting with objects (getting things, finding them in your inventory and using them), it’s time to enjoy some of the professional development opportunities available in Second Life. Again, I’m not trying to list all of the groups that host speakers, conferences, or tours in Second Life–this would be a book, not a blog post. I’m only attempting to show the potential of virtual worlds for professional development.

I’ve separated these by the skill level required to participate.

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