I recently came across two items that profoundly, profoundly "hit me". Meaning, they spoke to me as an educator about our true calling, our true place in the world. I'll leave it for these authors to tell more.
Thanks to my PLN (personal learning network) for throwing this my way. A keeper. I'll watch over and over whenever I need nutrition for my soul. So much wisdom in 30 min. Stephen Fry tells us some important things, most that CAN be applied not only to life but also teaching. Like goals -- throw them out! They only lead you down a swampy path of me, me, me and let discover remain on the horizon and your growth too..... Take a watch -… Continue
My previous blog post "Fire All English Teachers" was a satire on my part and not what I fundamentally believe. I tried to put a lot of "references" to tongue in cheek stuff but I guess I was just too subtle with the "Swift" and the "Common Sense" references.
So let me come clean and be brief.
I DO want the world to hire more teachers! MORE and MORE and… Continue
Spring is here in this part of the world. Hope rings eternal. I call it "the filling". The world replenishes itself and begins the cycle of rebirth.
Whenever I'm in need of a metaphor for teaching, I always reach for that of "sowing seeds". The teacher is a person involved in planting the seeds of knowledge and bringing the human spirit to life. To be a teacher and a sower of seeds, you don't have to be a paid employee. Mothers are teachers, homeless…
Using the board is something that seems "simple" but yet requires a learning curve and gets better with experience. Here are some things I've gleamed from experience and put to good stead over the years. (and by no means am I an expert - see one of my boards on this presentation as…
I've lauded you on numerous occasions but now I doth protest! Not for anything substantive but more about your "process". You see, I was reading a chart you designed and which appeared on "education.com". It is a nice chart BUT not exactly revelatory. Yet, to what did my wondrous eyes appear? Well, this big bold disclaimer at the bottom of it.
I'm not much of a soccer player anymore, had my day and that's that. However, I've always admired the success and uniqueness of Guus Hiddink - the coach who propelled Korea to the World Cup semi finals. He coaches like we should teach (and I submit, an English language teacher is more a coach - getting his players to play well than "instruct" preaching at his players. (** he also is a "where I lay my hat is my home" kind of guy - much like many a language teacher)
There is A LOT that makes a great teacher. I guess that's why this topic comes up over and over and over again. Hard to pin down and wrap it in some formulaic response. However, The Atlantic "What makes a Great Teacher", just tried to and though they hit a lot of nails, they didn't manage to really build a house.
They expound on the "Teach for America", "Race for the Top" and "New Teacher Project", all cash cows to… Continue
We have many, many videos of teachers teaching their students. It is so revealing and helpful for teachers to watch these, watch and see the little things. It really is in the little things that a good teacher becomes GREAT.
This teacher I'd hire in a heart beat. He's a… Continue
Now that we start a new year, reflection is almost part of the cleaning process after the last party.
Once more, I find myself asking what does teaching bring me, and why don't I want to change this exhausting job for some other more relaxing task like writing or translating full time...
I supose it is because teaching is a lot like sharing a new discovery every day; like having the fun of bringing people to nice places for the firts time.… Continue
There is a discussion within the online teaching community world wide because of THIS recent N.Y. Times article about teachers selling their lesson plans/materials and making $$$. May the Best Teacher Win is a great response and correctly suggests we are asking the wrong questions. If interested… Continue
I think backpacking English teachers get a bad rap. Truly they do. And especially from the more "senior" and "accomplished/established" members of our profession - ELT (English Language Teaching). Why so? I have only praise for this unseasoned, fertile, fecund and procreant soil of our profession. So I sing their praises and I'll tell you why.
A few weeks ago, I attended a plenary given by David Nunan. Now, I have nothing but great respect for Dr. Nunan. His… Continue