I started the blog with the post ‘Five weeks ’til CELTA’ below. (Nearly) a week later, I’m now 4 weeks out (…yeah, I did the math!) from starting my training up program…and I sense a weekly themed update pattern emerging. 😉
Has anything happened? Has anything changed?
Well, I started this blog and a twitter account. I now have 8 blog followers and 50 twitter followers. More important than the numbers is the handful of personal expressions of interest and support that have come my way from folks I respect and clearly have much in common with. These have 1. made me feel great and 2. encouraged me to have a real go at keeping at the blog…I do feel like blogs generally need to pass through a certain life support zone and get past some kind if natal quiet death phase…and this is the fuel that fights failure. Being followed and ‘favorited’ by some people I admire = priceless.
I’ve found the pages and blogs and virtual voices of CELTA- and TT-connected people on the internets and been able (in stolen moments amidst my 12 hour workday!) to indulge in stories, reflections, opinions, and discussions about what people talk about when people talk about this stuff. In a nutshell: grist for the mill.
This browsing and concurrent reflecting has led to about 10 drafts of posts in various stages of completeness I’d like to get posted ASAP. Thoughts on things like Dogme, CELTA vs SIT vs other TEFL certs, my precious experience with teacher education, TESOL conventions, and the like. And I’ve got a full mental file cabinet wherein more posts await, on peer observation, transitioning from EFL to ESOL, Raku and materials development, how I got into ELT, my MA TESOL (that’s a long one!), the random/diverse things that inspire and inform me as an ELT person, teaching in Thailand, teaching at a tsunami relief camp in Sri Lanka, ADD, and much more. A Bunch O’ Stuff.
Back in the ‘real world’, a regular (twice weekly) MA TESOL student observer from my alma mater down the road started sitting in on my classes. She has a well-defined cluster of tasks and a large set of interview questions for me. I also gave her Ruth Wajnryb’s Classroom Observation Tasks. She’s doing a great and clear-eyed job so far – definitely has me taking second looks and having second thoughts (in a good way…mostly!) about my teaching as I complete my final month at my program before my CELTA training. It may have contributed to one night in particular where I work up feeling extremely anxious about the upcoming CELTA job…the question that just lingered & scratched at me: “How can I presume to train teachers if I’ve yet to really perfect my own practice?” (another post on the pretense and confusion of that sentiment is also in vitro). Having the observer is certainly pressing me into more concerted effort at a time (confession alert!) I might be apt to coast a bit. But it’s also great to be in a dialogue with an MA TESOL student. She’s the third MA student for whom I’ve been ‘cooperating teacher’.
Anyhoo…all that said…just one week closer to starting up, mostly. And I hope to finish one or two of those draft posts over the weekend. Who put only 24 hours in each day though? I wanna talk to him.