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What’s your future perfect? (by Jen Brummer)

linked arms (MTSOfan)

Hi, everyone. Let’s do a quick grammar activity before you begin reading my blog post. Please answer the questions below. I will provide an example of each for you.

1) Give an example of the present perfect tense in a sentence about your professional life.

  • I have taught ESOL to children and adults.

2) Give an example of the past perfect tense in a sentence about your professional life.

  • Before I taught ESOL, I had earned a CELTA.

3) Give an example of the future perfect tense in a sentence about your professional life.

  • By the time I retire, I will have ________.

Okay, okay – I know I said I’d give an example of each but the truth is I have no idea what past participles I might use to complete my future perfect sentence. Could it be:

  • published a book on my experiences as an English Language Teacher?
  • developed content for a famous publishing company?
  • gone back to school for a PhD in TESOL?
  • became a prestigious university professor?
  • lived in at least 5 different countries around the world?

My list could go on for pages and pages, but you get the idea. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you are in the same boat as me.  You’ve completed at least a small handful of accomplishments within the TESOL field and you’re unsure where the road ahead may lead you. How do I know this? Well, if you are somewhere between beginning your first teaching job and retirement, you’re right there with me. Am I right?

I can just imagine us, me and you. We are two Xs on that good old grammar timeline that we love to draw on the whiteboard for our students: right above the word “now.” We are experts at what’s to the left of us, but we have no idea what’s to the right of us.

 

Jen blog graphic

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just walk into a crowded room filled with experienced TESOL professionals and pick their brains with all our questions about our current classes and future ambitions?  Imagine hundreds of teachers, professors, writers, publishers, and world travellers – all just sitting there in this magical staff room, waiting for you to ask them something. Eager to speak with you, to give you guidance, to share their experiences with you.

Wouldn’t it also be nice if, in that same room, people just starting off in the ESOL field were seeking out your professional input and advice? As a teacher, I know you love helping others. What if you could change another teacher’s life simply by sharing a few teaching resources, words of advice, or stories that got you to where you are today?

 

linked arms (MTSOfan)

Flickr: MTSOfan

One night, my son woke me up at 3 AM and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. The idea of this crowded, helpful, magical international ESOL staff room crept into my brain and I couldn’t shake it.  I then proceeded to do what I normally do at 3 AM when I can’t sleep: I checked my Facebook. By 5 AM, I made the decision to materialize my idea in the form of a Facebook group. By 6 AM I had drafted the group’s guidelines, and by 7 AM, my son woke up and I got him a bottle.

My good friend and former teaching colleague, Shaza Mahmood, agreed to help me manage the group – and the rest, as they say, is history. After just about two month of the group’s existence and 2500+ new members joining us from all over the world, I have to say I am quite pleased with the outcome of the group so far.

No matter where your X is on that good old grammar timeline, I know you’ll enjoy this group. You can pick the brains of all sorts of ELT professionals and at the same time, help out those with goals similar to what you’ve already achieved. You can share teaching resources and ideas, and make connections with people all over the world. You can share your past and present perfect sentences and get one step closer to discovering the past participle of your future perfect sentence.

We welcome all ESOL teachers (and those in a related field) with open arms and hope to see you in the group.

www.facebook.com/groups/ESOLTeachersWorldwide

Jen’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jenbrummerESOL

Shaza’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/shazamahmoodESOL

 

Jen BrummerJen Brummer is an American ESOL teacher who has taught English in Japan, Kenya, England, the USA, and online through the wonderful world of Skype. She really appreciates the power of social media for connecting with other teachers for support and learning. She is the founder and co-administrator of the Facebook group ESOL Teachers Worldwide.

What is a PLN, anyway?

A  good friend (and a great teacher) e-mailed me after my last post. “Great links,” she said. “But what’s a PLN?”

A good reminder about why I try to avoid acronyms and jargon in my writing.

PLN is an acronym for Personal Learning Network. The acronym is relatively new, but the idea is not. Teachers have always had learning networks—people we learn from and share with. Teachers are information junkies. We’re also social. Put the two together and you have a personal learning network. (more…)

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…)

Teacher Development 2.0 (by Steven Herder)

I’ve always believed in the power of people to be able to come together to create something much bigger than any one of them individually. Here is a story about a bunch of teachers (myself and Barbara included) who are coming together to create something new called The International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi). (more…)

Yes, you can! (write for Teaching Village)

We’re better when we work together.

This isn’t just the tag line for Teaching Village, it’s what I believe. I’m a big fan of teaching degrees and licenses–I have a handful of my own, and value what I gained in the pursuit of them. However, I also believe that great wisdom comes from teacher experience in the classroom, and that we are all better ELT practitioners when we learn from each other. (more…)

Fun, in practice

At the end of January, I wrote a post inspired by Volkswagen’s Fun Theory competition. (If you missed the original post, it’s here: The Fun Theory in Language Learning) As often happens, as soon as I had “fun” on the brain, I started seeing posts and information related to this topic all around me in cyberspace! (more…)

What I’ve Learned from my PLN (January 3, 2011)

(Note: If this is the first post you’ve read in this series, and you’re mystified by the PLN acronym, start with What’s a PLN, anyway?)

It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these posts. It isn’t that I haven’t learned anything from my personal learning network recently, just that it’s way easier to learn than it is to share what I’ve learned (I’m still very slow working online, especially with links). (more…)

Thank you for an amazing year!

 

 

 

Thank you, my beautiful Guest Authors!

 

It’s the last day of 2010, and a good time to reflect on the year that’s nearly done. This is the 110th post since I began this blog in June of 2009. I know that’s not a lot compared to really prolific bloggers, but it’s enough to thrill me. I began this blog as a way to learn more about connecting with teachers online, but wasn’t really sure how well the experiment would work, or what direction it would take. I had a vague idea about creating a community where EFL teachers around the world could share stories about their unique teaching environments and share wisdom garnered from their teaching experiences. (more…)

Very Cool! Meeting online friends face-to-face

Last year, I had my first ever “Tweet Up” at the JALT Conference in Shizuoka. For those not familiar with Twitter, a Tweet Up is when people who know each other through Twitter have a chance to meet face-to-face. Even though we were still a relatively small group of Twitter-using teachers, the excitement was huge. It added an entirely new dimension to the conference for me, and for others. Because the conversation began before the conference did, and continued long after it ended, the conference “high” lasted longer, too! (more…)

What You Can Learn From My PLN Quiz #6 (ELTAS Tech Tools Day Edition)

I had planned on taking a bit of a break from creating quizzes based on blogs by members of my Personal Learning Network. Then Anne Hodgson (one of the members of said PLN) sent me a message on Twitter, telling me about an upcoming event in Germany—ELTAS Tech Tools Day.

Now, I would do just about anything for Anne, so here’s a special edition of my PLN Quizzes, especially for Tech Tools Day participants. (Of course, you can take the quiz whether or not you are at Tech Tools Day!)

The quiz has five questions, based on five blog posts. Each has something useful to teach about technology and education.

Read the posts before you take the quiz. The main point here is to direct you to some excellent reading. You’ll also do better on the quiz. If you don’t like your initial score, you can take the quiz again. Again, the main point is learning, not grading. However, you will get a lovely certificate at the end of the quiz to display proudly on your own blog or web page :-)

If you want to read about the motivation behind these PLN quizzes, go here. (If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym PLN–Personal Learning Network–read “What is a PLN, anyway?”)

This quiz is based on the following five blog posts:

The Best Kept Secrets of Highly Successful Edu-Bloggers Part 1 by Karenne Sylvester

Microblogging for EFL with Plurk by Nik Peachey

Wikis by Lucy Mellarsh

Creating your Digital Self Part 1 by Ozge Karaoglu

Commercials in the EFL Classroom by David Deubelbeiss

Click here to take the quiz –> What you can learn from my PLN quiz #6