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Tag archives for reflection

Not just playing a part

the-purple-rose-of-cairo-7

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 not even near finished, so many footprints, so many seminal […]

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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 this many ways. Many times, I get teachers to write […]

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Stories From The Trenches 2

jana palacha

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 taught mornings at Zkladni Skola Jana Palocha and then in […]

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Stories from the Trenches

musadaq

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 both language teaching and teacher professional development, we should be […]

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Reflective Writing: Thomas Farrell

reflective writing

Last month I attended a weekend course on Reflective Practice led by Thomas Farrell.   This year, one of my own goals has been to attend to my own professional development instead of leading workshops, giving presentations and all that.  As the French say, “reculer pour mieux sauter” – stepping back so to jump further […]

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The End is the Start

Start-Finish

I ended my year and sent off my new teachers into the wide world of education. Fingers crossed. Lots to relate about my year pontificating and sharing, nurturing, cheerleading teachers to be, to be reflective about education and schooling. Here though, I’d like to share how successful my “Project Zander” was. Read about this activity […]

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The benefits benefits benefits of repe repe repetion

Over the length of my teaching career, I’ve changed in many ways. I think my journey mimics a lot of ELT teachers. 1. I have slowed down my delivery and instruction considerably. I used to just screech and scream through content. Now, I relax and pause a lot. I take time to enjoy the spaces […]

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Teachers Talking About Teaching

I just finished up my school year, sending off a new group of teachers into the possibility that is teaching / education. This year in my course, my students did some reflective journal writing using my book Zen And The Act Of Teaching.  I spent many happy afternoons reading their amazing entries about their lives in […]

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Letter to Self

I just got home after an absolutely stunning fall day with my preservice teachers class – Education and Schooling. This year, I’m again using an old trick I learned from the amazing Benjamin Zander. I’m getting them to write letters to themselves. They write a letter to themselves, saying why they got an A in […]

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24 hour giveaway: Zen and the Act of Teaching ebook

I’ve been pleased as punch by the feedback for this reflective journal. It will be mentioned and highlighted in several publications this fall as well as the hard cover book being used in several training programs. Here is the ebook for your own review. The giveaway is over but please consider becoming an EFL Classroom […]

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Reflections on “Being A Teacher”

I’m sitting in one of these chairs, in “god’s country”, lakes and rocks and trees, trees, lakes, rocks, rocks, rocks, lakes, trees, trees, no people.  Divine. My last few days before beginning a return to the classroom. I’ve spent the evening, refreshed by the lapping of the lake and solitude of nature,  reading “Getting Schooled” […]

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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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Zen and the Act of Teaching

A few schools have purchased this book – I think that is an accomplishment. I’ve had innumerable conversations about the contents and a few people will be mentioning in forthcoming reflective teaching books. Here’s the book in presentation format (click the photo). It’ll give you an idea of what can be printed and used as […]

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Zen and the Act of Teaching

I’ve been digging through my old teaching diary from teacher’s college (1990). Interesting to note how much I still believe and how much has fallen into the dustbin of “doing it for awhile”. Part of writing a journal is this discovery of one’s teaching self not just at the moment but down the road. Invaluable […]

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The #1 … (difficulty in being a teacher)

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1. The participation in the creation of something which is invisible. There are so many things that make a teacher’s life difficult. To name just a few of the thousand: noise, planning, snotty noses, mouthy kids, stuffy classrooms, things that don’t work, things that do […]

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Classroom Management Styles

Socrates said, “know thyself”.  Shakespeare, “to thine own self be true”.  I think both apply directly to any teacher that wants to be effective in their job and enjoy their work/self. This is why I’m a big believer in reflective teaching practices. (see my own teaching philosophy HERE) But it is more than just thinking […]

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Teacher

dividedself

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time – years actually. Finally, here in the airport with time to kill and waiting for my flight “home” to Canada, I have the time and motivation. Teaching English as a “profession” and living in multiple foreign countries has so many advantages. We hear about […]

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Zen and the Act of Publishing a Book (part 1)

Jeremy Harmer made a comment in defense of big publishers the other day.  He said, “the cost of producing a book is horrendous these days, the investment staggeringly high.” I took that as a challenge so within 8 hours I CREATED and PUBLISHED a book. Not some frothy, blablabla book but something substantial and which […]

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Reflective Teaching

I’m a big fan of reflective teaching and use it extensively in my teacher training programs. Especially reflective writing / journal writing. There is something about the act of writing in this way, that makes one intimate with oneself (as Schon, the grandfather of this subject once put it). It gets one growing as a […]

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Reflective Teaching Practices in ELT

I recently attended Kotesol’s National Conference. It was themed upon “Reflection and Prof. Development”. I had a great time (thanks to all who attended my own following day workshops!) and sat in on some excellent lectures/presentations. But the highlight was the opening plenary by Dr. Thomas Farrell. I was taken with his very practical focus […]

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