Play Big: The #SMILEgoal Challenge

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of teaching my first webinar thanks to the encouraging support of International Teacher Development Institute and Gallery Languages Ltd. The enthusiastic interaction and input from the participants, as well as the fabulous dance party, made this is an experience I look forward to reliving very soon.

(Note to self: always include a dance party in future webinars.)

I presented the idea of teachers dreaming big, and accomplishing big goals, by first taking small steps. To encourage this path, I offered the acronym: SMILE. We make our goals SMILE so that we can play big, and playing big means transforming lives: the lives of teachers and learners.

Now it’s time for you to SMILE! Share your SMILE goals via your blogs, Facebook, or Twitter by using the hashtag #SMILEgoal. Follow the prompts below for support or watch a recording of the talk, as well as inspiring talks from amazing educators from around the world, by signing up at the iTDi website.


Here are mine:

  1. Before I eat lunch today, I will give written feedback on the Reading Skills lesson plans the course participants wrote so that they have a chance to review and edit their lessons before they teach tomorrow.
  2. Before dinner today, I will have written a sample listening skills lesson plan so the participants have a model they can refer to when they plan their listening lesson next week.
    • EDIT #1 for a smaller SMILE: I will scan John Fields’ “Listening in the Language Classroom” for inspiration for about 20 minutes.
    • EDIT #2 for a smaller SMILE: I will edit the lesson plan I already have to match the needs of the course and use this plan for the sample lesson.
  3. I will publish a new story for the “Teachers Talking About Self-Compassion” series before I settled down for the night.

The first two SMILE goals will help me meet my larger goal of developing a positive learning and growing experience for our KMU-SIT Professional TESOL Course participants. The third one helps me meet my goal of developing a database of healing stories and strategies for teachers.

My ‘E’ for “Enjoy” will involve taking a moment to pause… ahhh…smile, and let the satisfaction sink in.

Are you ready to SMILE?



Celebrating Teachers – A Celebration Challenge

Let’s celebrate teachers, learners, teaching, and learning!

For this semester’s paragraph assignment, I asked my participants to choose one of these topics:

  1. Describe a memorable teacher.
  2. Describe a memorable student.
  3. Describe three characteristics you would like to have as a teacher.
  4. As a teacher, what is your dream?

I was so excited and proud of what they wrote that I wanted to share some of their quotes with you. (scroll down)

And in celebration of their self-exploration, I would like to reflect these topics back to you. Describe any of the above topics via your blog, email (, or Facebook, and I’ll share them on my blog! It’s time for a celebration and I look forward to celebrating with you :)

This will be a three part series: celebrating teachers; celebrating learners; and celebrating learning and teaching. For today’s post, my participants celebrate their teachers:

“It is natural to forget many people as years go by, but the fact that I recall him from time to time proves that he still inspires me with how teachers ought to be.”

“When I was a middle school student, I was too poor at English. Fortunately, I met a kind and considerate English teacher and thanks to her I could get self-confidence and find my potential abilities. I want to be a teacher like her. ”

Primary Color Teachers :)

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