Tagged: teaching

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50 Tips For Tired Teachers

Let’s be honest – there are days when as a teacher you are just “overwhelmed”.  Maybe from too many classes in a row over too many days. Maybe because of scheduling changes. Maybe due to being ill or stressed out.  It’s a fact, all teachers...

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5 Favorite & Fabulous Video Based Lessons

As a language teacher, I love video!  Students do too, so it’s a happy class when a video is being used. I’ve pounded the pulpit before on the benefits for video in the language learning classroom.  See my Using Video In The Classroom Guide Book as...

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I wish my students knew ……

I’m sure you’ve heard of it unless you’ve been hiding in your classroom, overwhelmed.  Teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students to finish the sentence, “I wish my teacher knew ……” The answers are heart wrenching and more important than just what they reveal about their...

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Sharing your “Teacher Self”

A bit of a reflective post today while I pack and then head off to TESOL Toronto. Looking forward to seeing many “teaching friends”. It’s put me in a contemplative mood, about my journey as an educator. About saying who we are as teachers and...

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7 Laws Of Teaching

This year marks the 130th anniversary of  John Milton Gregory’s influential (at its time) statement about what teaching and learning fundamentally is – The 7 Laws Of Teaching. Do you agree that they still apply to today’s classroom and schooling?  Which are true and which have...

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School’s Out Forever

I’m still plugging away on my book, tentatively titled “School’s Out Forever” – a play on the famous cry of the immortal Alice Cooper, “School’s Out For Summer“. My idea is to think fresh, think anew and have a grasp that exceed’s my reach. To...

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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...

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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 To Use Music & Song

I’m presently working hard on a number of forthcoming 50 lists. I intend to publish a new one each month this year and then end the year combining them all in one publication. Some of the lists forthcoming are; * 50 ways to teach writing...

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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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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...