EFL 2.0 Teacher Talk

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Tag archives for philosophy

Colorizing History. Technological Dilemmas.


Technology is allowing teachers to not just tear down the walls that surround their classroom, it also is allowing improved ways to present content. For the language classroom, images are an essential tool to generate conversation, contextualize vocabulary and build critical thinking skills. I’ve always cheerled my own powerpoint of “Best/Iconic photos of all time” […]

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Educational Philosophy – a dialogue between Plato, Dewey and Marx


{this is part of the “Captive Mind” series of blog posts – publishing online and decommercializing thought.] This piece of reflection was inspired by a former professor of mine – Dr. Gerald Gutek, professor of education, Loyola University and author of many books on educational philosophy ( I highly recommend his A History of Western […]

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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 one word of English. The principal explains to the first […]

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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 out and knowing exactly what I’m doing and how to […]

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It’s About Relationships

I’ve been spending a wonderful Christmas with family and friends in Canada over the holidays.  Lots of activity, birthdays along with parties and the regular Christmas meetings and greetings.  It got me really thinking about life and especially the glue that keeps all life together – relationships. In our teaching we get so zoned in, […]

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Joking Matters


I’ve spent the weekend reading the Heidegger and a Hippo walk through those Pearly Gates, the sequel to the amazing Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. Amazing books that combine commentary with jokes. As I’m reading, I was thinking of how jokes so well inform us teachers. So many times, jokes have framed […]

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Guess the Educational Thinker

I recently created for teachers and professional development, a directory of videos and readings on “Educational Thinkers”. It’s interesting to think of these “crazy ones” and get inspired by their own enthusiasm and dedication. Let’s celebrate them, as this famous video does. Take a look below while you are here and “Can you guess these […]

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Philosophy of Education at the Movies

Click to take the quiz about your own philosophy of education I’ve written lots about philosophies of education. How important they are to develop and sustain.  A lot of what is “stress” in today’s teaching world, derives from teachers working in settings that conflict with their own underlying philosophy of education – often, the teacher […]

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Reflective Then, Reflective Now ….

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? – T. S. Eliot Right now, I’m living in the same city as I went to Teacher’s College, years ago. It’s been making me think of how far […]

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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 see, I just do.  I don’t think much but rather […]

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My own “Egyptian” moment


“He not busy making his students come alive, is a busy not teaching, a busy dying”. I’ve been watching the events in Egypt with intense sentimentalism and empathy.  An extreme desire and understanding. You see, I’ve seen it before and don’t want it to turn out the way it did before. One of the wonderful […]

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It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish…

I’ve long given one piece of advice that I think seldom gets voiced often by teachers or teacher trainers – at the end of a lesson or day with students, ask just one thing, “Are you happy?”. And get the students to say they are happy. You are probably wondering why that is so important? […]

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Interview with myself

{ I think this a great reflective activity for any teacher. Going to make this  part of the curriculum in some of my future courses, for sure } What subjects have you been teaching? What types of students do you have? I’ve been teaching TESOL,  both certificate and graduate students but recently moved back to Canada […]

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The alive and the online

This evening, I went out to the local symphony’s Christmas Concert.  A wonderful gathering of many in this small city.  They played the score for the Christmas film – The Snowman by Peter Briggs.  Plus lots of carols and they had the whole audience singing joyously. As I enjoyed the orchestra and the “event” – […]

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Self Directed Learning – Part 1

If I could meet just one guy who I’d like to chat about the future and place of education in the world – it would be a toss up between Ivan Illich and John Taylor Gatto. Illich the intellectual, the piercing and challenging mind – Gatto, the more matter of fact, direct working guy. Today […]

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Top “Education” related posts of 2010

Last week I posted up my “Top Teacher Training related posts of 2010″ – titled, “On the shoulders of Regular Joe Teachers”. Today, I’d like to share my “Top Education related posts of 2010″. I’m incredibly proud of the level of resources and thought, I put into my blog this year. Over 250 quality posts. […]

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Do Teachers Kill Creativity?

Do teachers kill creativity? What is the harm that a “teacher” does, just by being a teacher? Do we indeed stunt student achievement, growth and “thought” by our mere presence as a model and person to look up to and copy/become? Like Ken Robinson’s story in “Do School’s Kill Creativity”, where the little girl is […]

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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 Teacher for something similar but not so general. This call […]

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Edublog Awards – My thoughts.

I’m a competitive person so this post is REALLY hard for me. I’m the kind of guy who will compete to see who can stand on one leg the longest. I’m hyper competitive and work hard because I love doing so but also because of this “competitive streak”. So it has been a hard and […]

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The Competitive Side of Schooling

Having recent stepped back from teaching, I’m starting to see the forest for the trees and been thinking a lot about the “competitive” nature of our classrooms, our schools and our western educational systems. First off, I’m not a warm and fuzzy “humanist”, asserting that we shouldn’t measure or mark students. Not at all. Competition […]

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