Weekly Photo Challenge: A (Satur)day in My Life

I usually enter the weekly photo challenge via my personal blog, but after recording a day in my life, it was clear — once again — that there is a fine line between personal and “professional”. I invite any of you ELT photographers to join in on the fun. :)

I had a surprisingly geeky good time — maybe not that surprising to those who know me– diving into the new textbook of the semester. I read about superheroes and what makes a regular person a hero, and figured out ways to modify the material to make it more relevant to our teacher-trainees. A big thanks to @bora_maren for generously — and randomly — giving me a sample last semester.

Truly enjoying this textbook. First textbook use in 4 years. Blog report to come.
Truly enjoying this textbook. First textbook I use in 4 years. Blog report to come.

It was then time to unveil the results of our #KELTchat poll for the chat Sunday night. Although most of the KELTchat crew was either presenting at (Mike Griffin, John Pfordresher and Alex Walsh) or attending the KOTESOL Seoul Conference, they were ready to spread the news and retweet at the sign of the hashtag – congratulations to Anne Hendler for being the quickest RT draw in town — or Seoul.

The last task of today was reading and giving feedback on the teacher-trainees’ reflections on giving and receiving feedback; yes, quite meta. They wrote this after they did their short experiential lessons called “The Teaching Game”, where teachers teach a 5 minute lesson on anything other than language (i.e.: origami, dance moves, magic tricks…). I learned a lot about how they processed the experience.

Teacher-trainees reflecting on the feedback process, and me giving them feedback on their feedback experience. #meta
Teacher-trainees reflecting on the feedback process, and me giving them feedback on their feedback experience. #meta

What will tomorrow bring? I’m looking forward to tackling this challenge again this week.


A Year in the Life of a Community

If you had told me a year ago that going to the KOTESOL International Conference was going to change my life, I never would have believed you. But seeing one presentation did just that.

Following the recommendation of @michaelegriffin – then only known as Michael Griffin – I attended Chuck Sandy‘s 10am Sunday presentation. He spoke of the value of creating communities: if you don’t have one, create one. At the end of the presentation, he talked about one such community of teachers he helped create called International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi).

The talk was inspiring in so many ways, but there was a 20 second soundbite that pushed me in a very important direction.

“Who’s on Twitter? Get yourself on Twitter!

Who’s on Facebook?

Facebook works. Twitter’s better.”

So I signed up.*

Now, a year later, part of my community is linked to iTDi. This past weekend at JALT2012, I had the great pleasure of meeting some of the iTDi faces that were up on Chuck’s powerpoint. Here are a three of these inspiring teachers:

Barbara Sakamoto, Yitzha Sarwono, & Marco Brazil

They are no longer pictures on a screen. Yitzha is my Instagram buddy, a constant source of light on Twitter, and now a friend I am fortunate enough to have had dinner with. Barbara, who inspires us via her own online community, Teaching Village, is someone I have exchanged thoughts and smiles with. Meeting Marco at JALT was an infusion of joy. I am very happy to now be connected to him. If I hadn’t seen Chuck’s presentation, I doubt I would have made my journey to JALT, which this video shows was very much worth it.

A year has passed since that fateful conference day, and now it’s our turn to present about a community we created on Twitter: KELTchat. I look forward to standing with Alex Grevett, Alex Walsh, Michael Griffin and Anne Hendler as we talk about how and why we came to be.

I am incredibly grateful for the communities I am a member of thanks to that inspiring October day.

Thank you Chuck. :)

*A little known fact: I had been on Twitter for two years, apparently dropping my blog posts into the abyss before I met Chuck. Until that day, I had no idea how powerful/magical Twitter really was.

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