Tagged: advice

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50 Things To Do The First Week Of School

“Every journey begins with a simple thought.”                                                       – anonymous A new school year or semester on the horizon can be overwhelming. So much to do, so little  time!  However, don’t fret.  Most can be done during the first crucial week in class – a...

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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...

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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...

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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...

glasshalffull 0

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...

musadaq 0

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...

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Blast / List From The Past

I spent a few contemplative hours this morning going through some of my dozens of notebooks of poetry and philosophy/aphorisms, written over the last 30+ years. As I was reading one, I came across this list of points on “How To Learn English”. I remember...

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My Favorite Graduation Speech

It’s that time of year – graduation! Full of commencement addresses and speeches. I’ve got to give my share and I’m always reminded of this time of year by the traffic level hitting this one post; Graduation Speech. For those who haven’t seen it, I’d...

blake2 0

Following your nose ….

It’s Sunday a day of repose. Re – Pose.  Re Position. If there is one thing in my life I’ve done well – it is to “dance to the beat of my own drummer” a la Thoreau or that other great quote of Blake’s, “No...

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Having “teacher” Endurance

I get asked a lot, “how do you do so much?”   or am labeled, “the hardest working ELT teacher”.  I’m always somewhat lost as to how to respond. Baffled really. I guess I’m a fish that knows nothing about the water I swim in! You...

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Recognizing a good teacher

I had a number of wonderful emails about my blog post – TEFL “non stick” teaching. So I decided to make the blog post into a presentation. (download here – with music – Being a good teacher) Also see my almost iconic presentation, Effective EFL...

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TEFL Non – Stick Teaching

I stumbled upon Alex Case’s old blog post, “25 ways to get away with being a crap English teacher”. Insightful list that I could add to. However, I’d rather focus on the positive so I thought I’d address the question posed in one of the...

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Manufactured Teachable Moments

Have you ever had a “teachable moment”?  Do you think we can actually make them happen or are they totally arbitrary, unpredictable by nature? First, let me explain by way of a story, what a teachable moment is. When I was first teaching, I taught...

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Teaching as chopping wood 2

Here is a quick update to a post I really think valuable to teachers – Teaching as Chopping Wood. The update is me chopping wood and really just to get others to read a blog post I am proud of and which I think has...

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High Expectations

This post is really about two things. ONE – to thank Karenne whose post brief post about the video below got my brain flooded with a thousand volts. TWO – to briefly and strongly, suggest an important point about instructing and teaching. First the video....

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Teacher burnout

One of my goals this summer 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 to be...