Category: Prof. Development

Posts about being a better teacher or student.

A Return To and A Defense of Freire

I just returned from visiting Nicaragua and some schools, universities there. In the more “prosperous” north but the poverty was still very evident everywhere. Even in the schools themselves. This is saying something for I’ve been living in Guatemala the last 6 years – and...

Teaching As An Invisible Act

[Finally renewing my blogging. Don’t worry, been blogging A LOT but just not here on my personal blog. You’ll hear about it soon and meet my team, see my posts and musings – starting a TEFL News Magazine. More on that in the coming weeks...

Language Learning and Teaching Beliefs (or myths)

I’ve always been a big advocate of continued reflection by teachers, especially regarding their own beliefs vis a vis teaching and learning. Especially the continued development of one’s philosophy of education. I don’t think we pay or give much attention to this in teacher training...

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Preface: I wrote this in the year 2001 while living in Kyiv, Ukraine and participating in the Ukraine without Kuchma movement. I lived just off of Maydan Nezalezhnosti on Lutheranskya and demonstrated, threw my stones and wandered the tents on Khreschatyk. It was a heady...

Reading & Remembering – Two Tools. Synth and Sans Forgetica

Reading. It’s been something I’ve been passionate about as an educator. Probably ever since I picked up a copy of Frank Smith’s “Understanding Reading” in anticipation of Teacher’s College some 30+ years ago. In the interm, I’ve read, studied and become convinced that technology can...

The Death Of “Native Speakerism”

I just finished speaking in Brazil on the topic of a level playing field for all English language teachers – regardless of their passport, their L1, their color or accent.  A look both into the wide spread and institutional “neo-racism” (as Adrian Holiday calls it)...

Education as a Barometer

These summer days, I’ve been thinking lots about the role education plays in the “success” of a society, culture, country. I don’t mean the usual view of “success” as employment, wealth or even having one’s basic needs met. I define success as the creation of...

So You Want To Be A Teacher?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a teacher for 30 years. Ups and downs but always felt proud to be a teacher and part of this profession. Lately, reflecting a lot on my journey, pecking away at my always unfinished book about education “School’s...

5 lessons for educators from “McFarlane”

A number of years ago I wrote a post titled, “5 lessons for educators from “The King’s Speech”.  It was well received and today I thought I’d write a few similar thoughts after watching the movie, “McFarlane“. I totally expected the movie to be a...

Gifs as Universal Language Ideographs

Isaiah Berlin related that there are only two types of people, foxes or hedgehogs.  I’m a hedgehog.  A generalist. A slow plodder that sees the bigger, wider picture. When it comes to language learning, this has been very handy.  It’s valuable to cut through the...

Master Slave ELT

I’ve had some free time these days to rethink my role in education and in particular ELT.  So think of this post as the start of my St. Augustinian “Confessions”. English language teaching is great! It’s given me so much and I’ve traveled the world,...

A Volunteer Teaching Vacation

I am doing a bit of a U-turn in terms of my interests and career in education.  All for the better. Trying to be more “on the ground” and give back more than I receive. Last week I spent a few days visiting schools and...

Teacher Education & Stand Up Comedy

This is not a post about teachers being funny and capturing students’ attention through jokes, humor. Rather, it is about the premise that a teacher can learn to teach in a class. I have changed so much over my 30 year teaching career. My beliefs...

Conference Qualities

I attended a good number of conferences this spring, online and offline. Like I’ve done previously, I just have to comment on a lot of things I don’t think help the cause of making good teachers. I won’t dwell on those I’ve mentioned before. Read these...

Top 20 EFL Classroom 2.0 Resources

We have a great community! Pioneering, always fresh.  So much to help teachers. See these testimonials from members.   There is a lot of content available to free members.  But please consider upgrading to Supporter to download all files, lessons, resources and access everything. Here are...

ELT Conference Pet Peeves

I attend quite a few conferences. The last year many as just a fly on the wall – attending sessions, taking things in …. I’m lucky, I know – able to travel and experience face to face professional development in many times exotic settings. I...

What Kind of Teacher are You?

This past weekend, I was rereading some Tolstoy and an old essay of Isaiah Berlin popped to mind. He uses an old story of Archilochus about the Hedgehog and the Fox to compare Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. The Hedgehog is driven by one idea, knows one...

Story/Picture book Making

Writing storybooks or making picture books is a great way to reinforce grammar and vocabulary. It also gives students confidence and pride in “producing” something visible and tangible to measure their English language learning experience. There are several steps to making a storybook and I’ll...

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