Guest Post: Being Yourself

I’m delighted to welcome back Ania Musielak to the blog. Ania is a passionate teacher and teacher trainer from Poland who I have been lucky to see speak at international conferences. She is well known for her energetic and dynamic presentations, often speaking about her passions of drama and literature. Here she argues that in our teaching we shouldn’t chase the latest trends and that our lessons must reflect our personalities and strengths.

When I was 19 I started my driving course. All my friends already had driving licenses, some even had their own cars and they said that it’s impossible to function without that little piece of paper. So I did my best at the course, and whilst doing it had two minor accidents, broke my leg and went through a mild break down as I really didn’t like driving. It felt unnatural and forced and I really sucked at it!

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A Weekend in Zug

Beautiful Zug

On September 17th I was fortunate enough to attend the English Teachers Association of Switzerland Special Interest Groups Day in gorgeous Zug, just a short train journey from Zurich. Among the many fascinating attendees were Mike Harrison, Ania Musielak and local resident Vicky Loras. As a way of reflecting on our weekend at the conference, we asked each other two questions to answer on our blogs. You can read Mike’s answers here, Vicky’s here, and my and Ania’s below. Continue reading

Guest post: Not a Drama Queen but a Drama Teacher

Here is part two of Ania Musielak’s takeover of my blog. After last weeks interview, she has now written a post for us all about her great passion in teaching, using drama in the classroom. I have asked her to write here because this is an aspect of teaching that doesn’t come naturally to me at all. It seems to me that the majority of teachers I’ve worked with have an exhibitionist streak within them, and teaching gives them a great chance to be the centre of attention. The good teachers, of course, can control this feeling and harness it to their advantage. The bad ones allow their ego to take precedence over the needs of the students.

But what about the other teachers, like myself, who are more introspective and could subsequently be missing out on some useful classroom techniques? I asked Ania to give us some advice, and she’s done a great job in helping us to understand how we can harness the acting skills she believes we all have within us.

Smile & Frown

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ELT Blog Challenge: An Interview with Ania Musielak

If you haven’t heard of it yet, the premise of the ELT Blog Challenge is simple.  Ask one of your favourite PLN people 5 standard questions, which you’ll see below, and from there, get to know them in ways that you might not otherwise have the chance to on twitter or other social media.

I was lucky enough to meet Ania Musielak as IATEFL Brighton in April. Somehow we’d managed to miss each other on Twitter beforehand, but since meeting up she’s become an essential part of my PLN.

She lives and works in her hometown of Tarnowskie Góry, after graduating from Silesian University as a Philosophy Doctor. She has worked as an English teacher, trainer and writer for 11 years, specialising in using drama and literature in teaching English.

As with anyone who meets Ania, I was not only impressed by her obvious intelligence and commitment to teaching, but her beaming, ever present smile. When it came to choosing an interview subject, she was an obvious choice. In fact, I’ve given my blog over to her for a couple of posts. Soon you’ll be able to read her thoughts about drama for the shy student and teacher, and here, you can read her interview. Take it away, Ania!

Me, Ania, and the smile.

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