Category Archives: self reflection

From an ESL Learner to a Teacher

Conceptual hand writing showing Be With Those Who Help Your Being. Business photo text Surround yourself of motivating showing Color Graduation Hat with Tassel 3D Academic cap on Books.
Image source: bigstockphoto.com

I came to Canada as an immigrant from Bosnia – a war-torn country – which, to this day, is difficult to return to when I want to visit family. Not only do I remember things no child should, but physical remnants remain at every corner of the country itself. My family was one of those that escaped with a random truck driver in hopes of getting out and not being denied entry into Croatia, which was safe.

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 10

Encouraging reflective practice for ourselves and our students

#CdnELTchat summary for June 25, 2019 by Bonnie Nicholas

Reflective practice word cloud
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

A small but mighty group of ELT gathered on Twitter on the last Tuesday in June to reflect and discuss questions around reflective practice. These are the questions that guided our discussion:

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 3

A Meaningful Handicraft Project: Collaboration, Learning and So Much More!

The Task at Hand

A handicraft of the alphabet described by the author in the post.
Image source: Suzanne Nicks

Quilting and knitting circles have existed for a long time for the purposes of pleasure and producing a useful final product, but how did a handicraft project for a group of Master of Education students turn into a feel-good, emotional learning journey? It was an assignment for a research methodology course, but it was so much more than that. It was also collaboration, self-discovery and an emotional roller coaster all rolled into some highly memorable academic presentations. At least that was my observation, if not quite my personal experience.

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 0

Spring Reflections

Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

The cherry blossoms are out! It’s spring and finally warm enough to ride my bike to work.  I do my best thinking on that bike. With a new semester starting, I find myself reflecting on the semester gone by.  Peddling on cold, rainy days tends to cause me to remember my failures, but on warm, sunny mornings, I recall my successes.  For 16 years I have been teaching university prep writing, grammar, reading, speaking, and listening to students from around the world. 

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 2

Why I became a teacher now, not then

I recently got certified as an adult ESL teacher, more than a decade after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English. Although teaching had been an option in the past, I decided to pursue other avenues—and I’m glad I did.

image source: Svjetlana Vrbanic

Over the years, I had many great experiences, learned many things, and acquired skills that make me a better teacher today. There truly are many different roads to teaching and I would like to share mine.

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 4

Why teachers need to care about self-care – Part 2

image source: bigstockphoto.com

Last Monday, Patrice introduced a discussion on why teachers need to care about self-care. This Monday’s blog continues that discussion.

Self-Care Solutions

The implementation of self-care requires a mindset change and the belief that we deserve time and attention for our own needs. This is difficult for many teachers to do since caring seems to be part of our DNA.  I strongly believe that self-care should be easy to follow, of little to no cost, and should not add time or stress to an already busy career. I incorporated “new tiny habits” such as daily walks, setting reasonable marking expectations and boundaries (such as no emails at night or weekends), spending time doing things I enjoy, connecting with people important to me, and setting Sunday as a no-work/re-set day. Continue reading

POST COMMENT 2

Why Teachers Need to care about self-care – Part 1

image source: bigstockphoto.com

Why Teachers Need to Care about Self-Care

Have you ever thought about self-care? Do you practice self-care now?  Unfortunately, self-care was never part of my vocabulary, so when I left teaching in December 2015 due to professional burn-out, I never thought about my own needs.  When I returned to teaching in November 2017, I knew that I needed to practice self-care.  This post discusses what I have learned about teacher self-care and the information shared in a December 7, 2018 TESL Ontario webinar. I also include some valuable insights and comments from more than 80 participants who took part.

Continue reading

POST COMMENT 0

#CdnELTchat, A Twitter Chat for Language Instructors

What is a Twitter chat?

Twitter is a microblogging tool that has recently been made most famous by the American President Donald Trump. Ok, it was popular before he started running for office, but my point is that everyone is familiar with Twitter.  It has approximately one hundred million active users daily.  A twitter chat is simply a collection of users that contribute to an online conversation using a common hashtag (#).   Twitter chats sometimes feature a guest that allows a community access to his/her expertise.

#CdnELTchat

This post is addressed to English language teachers across Canada.  Continue reading

POST COMMENT 0

On Leaving

Image by Sanjeevan SatheesKumar on Unsplash

The position was meant to be something new to try out, to add some freshness into my PD experience. Fast forward three years, and the job of Twitter Manager for TESL Ontario is much more than that and still interests me. Why am I leaving?

It has been a challenging couple of years, and the reason I need to leave Continue reading

POST COMMENT 6

Teaching in Mexico

Old black leather suitcase with books on the floor. Retro stile. Vintage accessories for business. Checkered suitcase. Summer vacation
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

After a seven-year hiatus, I am teaching ESL again. I am in Los Cabos, Mexico and this morning’s class will be at a non-profit college aimed at giving underprivileged kids an opportunity for higher learning.

My sister K., who lives here half the year, instigated this.

I’ve been looking forward to it. I even managed to fit in a few of my old ESL books from my teaching days into my suitcase.  Continue reading

POST COMMENT 1