Category: Prof. Development

EFL 2.0 Feb. Updates

There has been a lot of new things posted for members this month so far. Here are just a few of them. If you missed the February newsletter, find it here.  Also the recent edition of our online news magazine. 1.  Friends Furever.  You’ll love...

Teacher Burnout & Stress

One of my goals this coming school year is to be more personal in my writing/blogging. I know I am guilty of sharing precious little about myself. I pontificate, philosophize, condemn, encourage but in that, I share little of “who I am”. I don’t want...

So You Want To Be A Teacher?

A poem speaking to some things inherent in great teachers. This remix is in memory of Charles Bukowski. 1920 – 1994.     — We miss you.   if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes...

January 2015 Mid Month Updates

It’s that time of the month – time for a few basic updates about our community. I’ll be using these updates to provide members with information about some of the many fantastic resources available on the community. 1.  New Resources! * Get our 2015 Calendars *...

Why Do I Blog?

“I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life.” ― George Orwell, Why I Write...

50 Ways Lists

The “50” lists created over the last year have been a huge hit with teachers. So happy to know that these simple ideas are being used in classrooms everywhere. That’s what web 2.0 is all about. I thought it would be great to list them...

Not just playing a part

I’ve been working on a new post this weekend, a reflection on my own development as a teacher and all the footprints that truly led me to where I am right now. Something for myself but which other teachers might find some truth therein. I’m...

Stories from the trenches 4

This story comes from my time teaching at Bloor and Bay, 5th floor, N.E tower – Language Connections International. I was teaching new immigrants to Canada part of the day, foreign students the other half. Small classrooms with one wall all windows facing busy Bloor...

Standardized Learning

One conclusion I’ve come to after years teaching – testing and assessment are poorly used as a way for students to learn. This is curious and unfortunate because students for the most part DO get motivated and energized through tests and quizzes. The pickle is,...

Keeping going …..

Today, went out for a nice bike ride with “my old man”. He’s almost 70 and he kicked my butt! Truly. I’ll admit I’m not in great shape anymore but watching my dad, “power in” the last 20 k of our ride, me lagging behind...

A Hierarchy of Classroom Needs

A Classroom’s Hierarchy Of Needs I just got home after a morning of observing two classrooms. One was wonderful, a place that all students would long to be in. One was dreadful, a place that students would only just barely tolerate and where one student...

Sharing Yourself (Online)

As a teacher trainer, one of the things I have trainees do many times, is to reflect on themselves, their personal qualities and their accomplishments. Just this little bit of reflection sets a teacher on more solid ground from which to progress. You can do...

Educational Absolutism

One thing that has slowly happened to me in my own development as a teacher – I’m now less absolute and sure of myself. Now, that may seem a contradiction and that after 25 years meandering through the fields and mountains of schools, classes, education,...

Back To School: The art of possibility

A story. Two teachers visit the principal’s office to get their new class assignment for the school year. The principal assigns them each to a class of new students. Both teachers don’t speak a word of the student’s mother tongue. The students don’t speak even...

Stories From The Trenches 3

In the mid to late 90’s I was teaching new immigrants to Canada, downtown Toronto. It was a government program and all new immigrants with lower level language fluency would get paid for up to a year, if they regularly attended language lessons. I’ve written...

Stories From The Trenches 2

I had the luck to start teaching English at a school where I basically had free reign to teach as I saw fit.  It was just after the fall of communism in the Czech Republic (then still Czechoslovakia), a beautiful spa city, Karlovy Vary. I...

Stories from the Trenches

If you’ve been to any of my training sessions, workshops, presentations – you’ll know I often start with a story  They are a perfect way to frame conversation and get us thinking about our teaching.  We are hard wired for narrative and I think for...

Doing What Works For You

Throughout my teaching career, I’ve often found myself  in what I term, “the rut”.  Not bored of teaching nor unexcited but rather teaching without any “spice” and just going through the motions.  Settled is what I call it.  Finding myself feeling like I’ve figured it...

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