Greetings from Brasília

With my last group in San Jose

With my last group in San Jose

This is the first post I’ve written since I left San Jose, Costa Rica in July and moved to Brasília, Brazil. Inevitably I’ve been reflecting on my time in Costa Rica and I look back at it with nothing but warm memories. On a personal level, it was a great country to live in, and there are times when you are animal spotting in the forest, basking on the beach, or staring down into a smoking volcano that you realise that you live in one of the most unique and beautiful countries in the world. I’ll always be grateful I had that opportunity, just as I am that experienced Belgium, South Korea and Brazil before it. I hope I can go back one day (read more about that here). Continue reading

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A Tale Of Two Teachers

Angry Evil Face
Meet Steve…

True story…

Here’s a tale of two teachers, Steve and Bob. They both teach the same class, one after the other. After almost every lesson, Steve returns to the teachers room, sits down at his desk, lets out an audible sigh and then proceeds to moan about the students. They don’t engage, he complains, they don’t get what he’s trying to do. The atmosphere around him is negative and other teachers look at each other with a look that says “here he goes again…”. Steve then opens up his big folder of lesson plans, photocopies the materials he needs for tomorrow’s lesson and goes home early. Continue reading

Just Say Yes

About a year ago, I made a decision. It was the kind of decision that people have made careers out of, especially the writer Danny Wallace who coincidentally was at my university at the same time as me. Since he studied Journalism and became a writer and I studied Media, specifically television, and became a teacher of English as a foreign language, I’m going to assume that his days at the University of Westminster were rather more productive than mine. Continue reading

ELTchat Blog Challenge: My First Lesson Plan

The current ELTchat Blog Challenge is to share with us your first lesson plan. If you can’t find it or threw it away in a tidy up many moons ago, then why not tell us about your first ever lesson as an EFL teacher? What do you remember? What do you wish you’d known then that you know now? And when you look back on that lesson, how do you trace your own development since that day? I’d love to hear about your memories and reflections.

If you’d like to learn more, listen to Bethany Cagnol’s reflections on the ELTchat podcast.

I’ve actually already blogged about my first ever lesson, in fact it was my first post proper on this blog back in October 2010. For this post I have decided to literally write about my first lesson plan, the first time I ever sat down and wrote out my aims and the procedure of the class in a formal way. Not surprisingly, this was on my CELTA. Continue reading

Blogoversary & Blog Challenge: What’s Your Story?

Last weekend it was my first blogoversary. A big thank you to everyone who has stopped by, retweeted the links, added me to their blog roll and RSS feed, and commented. The following post is part of Vicky Loras’ blog challenge and it seemed to fit with my first proper post from just over a year ago. In the challenge she asked us to reflect on one of the options below:

  • Have you made a big move?
  • A career change?
  • Have you been teaching and living in a country for a long time, but have seen changes in yourself as a person, educator or both?
  • Are you thinking of a change in the future?
I’ve written about a moment when everything changed for me. I hope you find it interesting (and not too self-indulgent!).
Time to decide…

Back to school.

Picture Source: atbaker and Animal Photos!

Reading Ania Kozicka’s excellent guest post on Ken Wilson’s blog this morning, the thing that struck a chord with me was not the main topic of her piece, but something she mentioned at the end in her biographical information.

“When you see me you may catch me…- writing a script
– listening to music
– dancing
– enjoying the sun – the best source of energy
– reading a book
– watching the Smurfs – they always make me smile!
– sitting with a Spanish grammar book – I believe a teacher cannot understand their students unless they are students themselves.” Continue reading