What’s the highlight of your teaching career?

highlight

I was asked the other day,

What’s the highlight of your teaching career, Joanna?

and that question was quite difficult to answer because it made me wonder

what is the highlight?

Highlight

the best or most exciting, entertaining, or interesting part of something

                                                                                            Cambridge online ddictionary

Exciting? Entertaining? Interesting? Hmmmm.

So, for a teacher, what is considered a highlight?

Is it getting a promotion? Yes? No? I ask….what’s a promotion? Is the best case scenario becoming a principal at a school? Maybe becoming the Prime Minister of Canada? Is it becoming teacher of the year? How many steps does the career ladder of a teacher have?

Is it gaining degrees and diplomas? Becoming the best you can become because of your education?

Being acknowledged, respected by your peers?

Going to conferences? Presenting at conferences? Being invited to conferences?

Owning your own ELT business?

Is it writing articles? Getting published? Writing a book that people actually read? Seeing your book quoted somewhere?

Maybe it has nothing to do with the career. Maybe it’s a feeling.

Can a highlight just simply be getting out of your rut, avoiding burnout, and feeling like a super hero every time you walk into the classroom? Having the ‘energy’ to keep going on. Having the strength to keep trying even though you are underpaid and not appreciated.

Is it feeling like you had a very productive day with a very challenging class?

Is it being creative? Making something? Sharing something? Having a zillion

Ah hah

moments?

Is it inspiring learners? Making a kid say,

I want to become a teacher because of you.

Is it seeing your work… ‘work’? I mean, witnessing a child or adult acquiring knowledge? Using a language? Having the chance to experience things in another language? Opening doors to a whole new world?

Is it when your kids make you a card or stay in touch even though you haven’t seen them for 10 years?!

What exactly is a highlight for a teacher?

Probably all the above.

My answer

That’s a very difficult question to answer because I cannot put my finger on just one thing. I  felt extremely happy when I realised that one of my kids ‘got it’ or when I saw another kid be able to express himself in English and thought to myself, “Hey! I helped make that happen”. I also felt very good about myself when I got to teach academic English at a university in the UK. I have managed to educate myself quite a bit. So, as I said,  I don’t really think I can mention just one thing. It’s not just one thing…………………

I also think that there are many more ‘highlights’ ahead.

So, how do you measure success?

Till next time…

J.

Disciplining adult learners?!?

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Hi everyone!!

3rd blog post in a row? My oh my!! Here’s the thing, I just could not not share (is that correct??Yup!) what happened today and of course ask you what you think. Today’s ‘hot’ topic is……… (drum roll…. which is not necessary if you have read my title- don’t look at it now!!)….’ disciplining’ adult learners.

So, I teach kids/ teenagers and adults. ‘Disciplining’ a kid is easy.

You can:

Tell em to write 100 times

I will never do that again (haha… as if…).

Or even better

Tell the kid to stand in the corner ,hop up and down for an hour.

(Just kidding!!!!)

Seriously though

You can:

Explain rules at the beginning of the year.

Get them to write up/ sign a teacher- student contract (maybe?) with what is acceptable/ not acceptable

Reward good behaviour with stickers (again an if-y topic)

Or

Talk to the kid and say what you do not find acceptable/ unacceptable.

Talk to the parent if the kid still misbehaves in your class aka is a little terrorist.

Bottom line folks. A teacher has got to do whatever he/ she can in order to be able to carry out a lesson without having to deal with bad classroom behaviour/ rudeness etc. etc.

Now you may ask,

What do you consider bad behaviour?

Checking their phone 24/7 during the lesson ( I don’t mind phones in class FYI).

Talking on the phone during the lesson.

Nervous laughter that does not stop.

Joke telling (24/7).

Making fun of me/ other kids.

Chewing gum (like a goat) in my class.

Oh! I also hate it when my students wear hats in class… but I guess that’s just me…..

Now, what happens when your learner is a CEO of a super duper company, older than you and has an opinion? Well, if you are like me, a pushover, you are screwed (oops… bad word). You endure and look at the clock.

I was teaching a big boss and the big boss was chewing gum throughout the lesson. And OK ,gum may not be a big deal if done in a ‘polite’ manner aka silently, but when you are using a headset and sound is magnified the chewing is….. soooooooooooooo bad. But on the other hand, I was teaching the Big Boss, and I am an employee who does not want to piss off the big boss, so I shut up and just had the most annoying lesson!

So, do you think I should have told my learner to spit out his gum? Isn’t it like an unwritten classroom rule to not chew gum during the class? Am I supposed to play bad cop when teaching adults? Talk about classroom etiquette?  What would you have done? What can you do? Remember it’s online. Not even face to face. Plus it was the 1st time it happened.

Digging deeper

Did I not say anything because of gender? Work relationship (cause technically he is paying me)? Was it age? Was I being polite and trying not to offend him?  If this was a kid, the gum would have been gone in like 5 secs.

Anyway, that’s today’s story and sure it isn’t like the biggest problem ever but it did get me wondering.

Should I have spoken up for all teachers or was a right to let it go (for today) and just wait for the chewing torture to end?

Chomp chomp in my ears for 45 mins……..at least he didn’t make a bubble……

Please let me know what you think…..

J.

 

Working from home: Yes or No?

Hi everyone!!

As you may (or may not know). I have lost it completely, and have started making YouTube videos :p. Yup. I filmed this very short video a while back and I talked about what I do. I thought I’d share it here.

Oh! Yeah. I know my background sucks. Dunno why I thought hanging pearls (fake ones) on the cupboard would look good. It doesn’t!

Anyhow, this is me, talking briefly about working from home.

 

See ya soon!!

xx

J.

My Polka dot Productivity/ Vision Board

Hi everyone!!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a  ‘thing’ for productivity and pretty things. I love planning and scrap booking. While I am not the most talented arts and crafts gal, I do like putting together things that help me feel like I am more productive. Key word feel. Since this post can fall under the gilrie side of ELT posts, I am sharing this post here as well. So, enjoy!!

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So, I watched a lot of videos about notice boards and vision boards,but I was not happy. I wanted to make a notice board that would help me remember things, make me more effective,  as far as getting things done is concerned, and I also wanted it to look pretty. That is what I am sharing with you guys today. I will give you a brief description of what I used to make my ‘productivity board’ and you can also watch my YouTube video if you want more details.

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What do you need?

Digital/ scrapbook paper

Glue

Post it notes

Quotes/ pictures/ photos/ prints of what you like

A jewelry bag

A photo frame

Washi tape

Deco flowers/ plastic flowers

A notice board

Procedure

I sat down with a big cup of coffee and wrote down what I want my notice board to do. I wanted mine to

Look Pretty and be part of the decor

I also wanted it to help me do stuff and remember stuff.

I then laid loads of crafty stuff and started playing around with everything, moving in on my board and trying to think of what matched in my eyes. Fun fact. I am colour blind and no one was at home to help me with the colours so I just went with what looked nice to me :).

I stuck my digital paper onto the notice board.On top of that I added stickers/ quotes of things I thought were cute. I used thumbnails to hang on my notice board a white frame (without the glass), a cotton jewelry bag and a board with my to Do list  Once everything was hanging where I wanted it to, I added post it notes in the frame. On the side of the notice board I stuck a flower.

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In the pictures you can see my final product. You can also watch the video for more info.

You can check out my video here 🙂

My picks from Amazon

(affiliate links)

Punch Studio Butterfly Script Sticky Notes Pad Portfolio

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Click here

Lilly Pulitzer Sticky Note Set, Pink Lemonade (154518)

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Click here

Don’t forget to follow my blog/ YouTube channel. Connect with me on social media. Click on the ones you use and connect with me 🙂  Pinterest / Twitter/Instagram/Google+. or give my Facebook page (sidebar) a ‘like’ so you do not miss out on my super duper posts!!

Thanks for stopping by.

xox

Joanna

Happy 2017

Hi everyone!!

I thought I’d pop in to say Happy New Year and wish you all the best for 2017.

May 2017 be full of

Creativity & inspiration.

Good health & safety.

Great moments with your loved ones.

Gratitude for what you have & drive for what you want to achieve.

Opportunities in every field.

Different flavours & tastes.

Good reads.

Students who learn & teach us.

Finally,  and probably most importantly……

Pens that write!

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Thanks for stopping by!!! Happy New Year!!!

xox

Joanna

Chucking the Lesson Plan Out of the Window

Hi everyone,

Today I had a lesson with a learner and I had planned to do a lesson on phrasal verbs. I had my lesson plan ready (not really a plan, just a few ideas on what I would do and when), my presentation uploaded (this was an online class) and everything was set. The phrasal verb lesson was quite challenging and my learner did want to be challenged, so I was really pleased with what I had prepared for today.

My lesson started and I did a bit of chit chat. My learner said,

I am working from home because I get distracted at work.

and bam…. my lesson plan went down the drain, and I just changed everything!! You see, this phrase got us talking about distractions and working from home.Penny dropping.

I then decided that THIS was the chance to change the lesson into something that was prompted by the learner and something that made her very chatty. So, scratch the grammar lesson, we are gonna do a speaking/ listening class.

What did I do?

I found the Jason Fried TED talk about ‘Why Work Doesn’t happen at Work’ and asked her questions that were actually answered in the TED talk.

I asked,

Where do you go to get important things done?

What is the connection between work & sleep? She actually got this right!! It is phase based.

What distractions do you have at work? Can you categorise them in real and not important distractions?

We spent about 10 minutes talking about those questions.

I then asked her to take notes of the answers Fried gave to those questions.

Because the TED talk was long (15 mins), I broke it down into 2 halves. Half way through, we discussed her answers to the questions and issues that came up from what she heard. We then heard the rest of the talk and did the same.

So,we talked about what the learner already knew,  what she learnt from the talk, and what she wanted to learn from what she heard. This talk actually inspired her to do some research on meetings, managers differences between  the USA and France, and Jason Fried!

Beach in Chania

Did I just have a learner driven lesson?

I think I did. Yes, I prompted her and gave her a provocative TED talk as stimulus. I have never had this learner be so chatty before! She loved it because she is a manager and she could relate to what was being discussed. She actually asked for the link to the TED talk cause she wanted to use it during a meeting.

Me, to myself.

YES!

Did I meet my learning objective?

Well, we did not do anything about phrasal verbs, and if my objectives were to

*familiarise learner with phrasal verbs of verbs XYZ and blah, blah, blah,

then, we didn’t, but this spontaneous 5 minute planned lesson was one of the best we have had and she loved it. I am glad the penny dropped when it did, and that I was actually ‘listening’ to my pre-lesson chit chat.

Joanna’s words of wisdom

Do not underestimate the power of chit chat.

Listen to the ‘chit chat’.

Use it to guide you in your choice of material.

It’s OK to chuck out the lesson plan and be spontaneous.

Oh! But do keep in mind that I do have a lesson plan for the Jason Fried TED talk (which I have shared here) and I have used it many times, so while the ‘chucking out’ was spontaneous, I did know what I was doing and talking about. I knew my material very well. I just hadn’t prepared it for today.

So, folks that was my lesson today.I am a Happy Teacher today!

Do you guys have similar experiences? Let me know when you chucked out your LP and did something completely different. How was it?

Till next time…..

 

 

 

The girlie side of ELT: my Xmas book gift guide/ reading list

Hi everyone!!

Today’s Girlie Side of ELT  post is a video about books I will be reading during the Christmas break ( I am a teacher) and some book suggestions.When I am not reading books about teaching,  I like reading romance novels, so light reading. I also like historic novels and books about productivity, business, getting things done and so on.

The books mentioned

(Affliate links)
The Rosie Project & The Rosie Effect:

These are books about a guys search for the perfect girlfriend/ wife. This is a fun/ light hearted book to read.

Books thumban.jpg
Bridget Jones mad about the boy

Bridget Jones? This is the latest book and it has nothing to do with the movie. That’s what I’ve been told.
Queen’s Sorrow

Novel about Henry the 8th wives. I have read a few books written by Dunn. They are easy to read.
Girl boss:

This book has been written by the owner of Nasty girls and she talks about the company and how she rose to success/ advice and more.
The Decision book:

If you want to be more productive, read this book. I read it in one night. Yeap. A page turner.
Presence:

I love Amy Cuddy’s TED talk , so I had to get her book. It is about challenging yourself.

For more details about the books, check out my video. Do subscribe to my channel cause I am really tying and I do know I need to improve and get proper filming equipment, bt for the moment, I am testing it out.

Thanks for stopping by.
xox
Joanna

Hi everyone!!

Today’s blogmas post is a video about books I will be reading during the Christmas break ( I am a teacher) and some book suggestions.

I like reading romance novels, so light reading. I also like historic novels and books about productivity, business, getting things done and so on.

The books mentioned

(Affliate links)
The Rosie Project & The Rosie Effect:

These are books about a guys search for the perfect girlfriend/ wife. This is a fun/ light hearted book to read.

Books thumban.jpg
Bridget Jones mad about the boy

Bridget Jones? This is the latest book and it has nothing to do with the movie. That’s what I’ve been told.
Queen’s Sorrow

Novel about Henry the 8th wives. I have read a few books written by Dunn. They are easy to read.
Girl boss:

This book has been written by the owner of Nasty girls and she talks about the company and how she rose to success/ advice and more.
The Decision book:

If you want to be more productive, read this book. I read it in one night. Yeap. A page turner.
Presence:

I love Amy Cuddy’s TED talk , so I had to get her book. It is about challenging yourself.

For more details about the books, check out my video. Do subscribe to my channel cause I am really tying and I do know I need to improve and get proper filming equipment, bt for the moment, I am testing it out.

Thanks for stopping by.
xox
Joanna