It’s time to wrap up the year. This is only a short post about 12 precious things I got to know this year. They are useful for me, I hope they can be so for other teachers as well.
1. Keep being a lifelong learner > I started the year with a great news, I passed Delta Module 2! Studying for the complete diploma is really changing the way I teach. More important it is an excellent way to reflect on what we teach. So keep studying!
2. Join free online courses for teachers > This year I experienced my first online course. I joined a couple of EVO sessions in January. I took part in the Young learners and teenagers SIG course and the Digital storytelling for kids one. It was a great experience, I learned a lot about webtools, I had the chance to listen to and even chat with great ELT speakers, and I met a lot of nice teachers around the globe.
3. Integrate technology in the classroom > I started to use free webtools with my students regularly. We realized a series of cool projects from storytelling to interactive presentations and short class videos. I enjoy being an #edtech teacher!
4. Read ELT blogs > I discovered so many interesting ELT blogs about every aspect of teaching English. This year I started to be an avid reader of them. I regularly read interesting posts from famous ELT authors and publishers to a variety of ESL teachers. It’s a great help for everyday lessons, but also a rich methodology support.
6. Write, and don’t be afraid! > The biggest challenge of the year was becoming a real ELT writer. Early in March I had the chance to write a proposal and contribute to a couple of publications for the Italian market. I’ll soon be the author of three ELT books on skills! I can’t really say how I feel about this, but I learned to face challenges and never step back.
7. Love linguistics > I admit I have always been a linguistics lover, a kind of little nerd. Not so proud about this, but this year I realized how important some theoretical linguistics aspects can be in supporting everyday teaching. Knowing what’s behind, can be the key to understanding language acquisition.
8. Sharing is caring > Best lesson ever! In 2012 I have started sharing. Ideas, lesson plans, fears and successes. I analyzed how isolating and a bit selfish our job can be, and I realized the power of being part of a community of professionals that enjoy sharing just because they care.
9. Start blogging > I thought it was the time to start writing and sharing all the things I got in my “teacher box”. Blogging helps me reflecting on practices and experiences, it is a great chance to fix and share all the good (sometimes bad) things a teacher lives.
10. Start building a PLN > I joined Twitter more than a year ago. I think it is one of the most powerful tools for building your PLN (Personal Learning Network).
11. Participate in #eltchat > Every Wednesday I enjoy following the chat on Twitter, often without really contributing to it, I’m still too shy! But it’s a great way to learn and discuss key ELT topics.
12. Introduce literature to YLs > I would say this is one of the last things I learned in 2012. Literature to pre-teens has always scared me, but in the last part of the year I started integrated it in my lessons. Still testing different approaches. But authentic texts such as Lewis, Stevenson, Shakespeare are now part of my regular teaching.
I’ll take away these 12 gems with me in 2013.
Happy New Year!