All posts by Svjetlana Vrbanic @lanavrb

Brain Breaks Essential when Teaching Online

Image taken from BigStock Photos

In general, teachers have an unwavering commitment to their profession and an unparalleled work ethic; when COVID-19 hit, they applied this to online learning. However, the hours spent learning how to teach in this new environment have taken a toll on both their mental and physical health. Many teachers have had to strike a whole new work-life balance.

During an in-person lesson, it is natural to take a break, whether that be leaving the room briefly or stepping into more casual conversation between teachers and students. But what happens in the online classroom when we take a break? For most of us, continuing our work is the norm. How does this ultimately make us feel? Are we better off working through our breaks for the benefit of our students? Continue reading

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Online Success for TESL Ontario 2020 Virtual Conference

Image source: TESL Ontario

As a TESL Ontario guest blogger and ESL teacher, I was excited to attend the TESL Ontario 48th Annual Virtual Conference held November 5-7. Called Resilience: Re-envisioning Language Education Together, the conference was held online using PheedLoop.

A virtual conference—who would have thought it?

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Adventures in Summer School

Retro television with technical difficulties warning , 3D rendering
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Like many of my colleagues, I was teaching online this summer using Zoom. My adult ESL class (CLB 4) had about 14 regular students. By the end, we had become quite close and it was sad to see them go. Along the way we had a few adventures related to online learning that I’d like to share with you.

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Striking a work-life balance during COVID-19

Symbolic scale of the stones on sea background. Concept of harmony and balance. work-life, emotional balance
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

When COVID-19 hit, I spent a lot of time with my students keeping tabs on the latest news and reviewing hand-washing procedures.

Then, we were told to stay home, and my focus shifted to spending time with my family and keeping busy.

I work as an Adult ESL and LINC teacher, and soon enough, I was asked to teach online.

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Reflections of Summer Teaching on a Snowy Day

Concept Dreams Come True,  miracle, a dog with eyes closed sits in a winter forest and dreams of summer, butterflies fly around
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

I’m looking forward to the summer months. Even though there’s still snow on the ground, I recall my adventures teaching ESL at a children’s summer camp. I learned a lot, as I do every year. I enjoyed adapting existing material and creating my own instead of working strictly from a textbook. It was challenging and time consuming, but I would argue better, more student-centered, and fun.

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Preparing for the TESL Ontario Conference

The 47th Annual TESL Ontario Conference is quickly approaching, and I am gearing up for a great time.

A Chance to Network and Learn

Background concept wordcloud illustration of professional networking
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

This will be my first conference as a newly certified teacher. I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues – some new faces, and, hopefully, some I have seen before – and learning something new.

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Summer Camp – Where Learning Can Be Fun

Summer Camp word cloud , education concept
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Over the summer, I worked as an ESL teacher at a summer camp for children and teens from abroad. This was my third-year teaching at the camp and I had a great time!

Camp Chaos

As expected, it was chaos, with students arriving every week from countries like Mexico, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, and Japan. There were lots of new faces with students coming and going.

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