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Blimage - Amazement

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Find it in your heart

Just in!
I just loved the simple way singer Gloria Gaynor explains the source of discrimination of any kind. When you are unable to see the other as your equal (what she refers to as love in your heart), that's when fear steps in, paving the way for hate and intolerance. A gem of an interview.

Learning is truly ongoing - practicing too

Students' stories = Engaging, Learning opportunities

If the title got you hooked, I'm sure you're gonna read to the end. One dilemma most English teachers face is getting students to write any kind of text, in the traditional school context. Look what I cooked up for all of you to work around that obstacle. 
A student of yours tells you they have not seen any of the last messages you send to the group because their phone went dead. That was ten days ago. Since then, they have been reachable only by land line or e-mail (that is, when they access a computer). 
You almost automatically feel sorry for that person, eagerly wanting to know how they are getting by without what has become an extension of our bodies (for most of us, at least). How do they keep up with everything that is being shared on social media? Have they started facing bank lines again or ordering foods and other services on a traditional device? How do friends and loved ones keep in touch? How are they making out without Netflix or other streaming platforms to occu…

I'm the mad hatter!

The amount of hats we teachers have to wear - sometimes more than one at the same time - can make us go crazy, or mad.
The roles we play (how many can you spot in the cloud below?) poses a challenge for us to find our voice as individuals and as professionals. 

Are teachers the only ones who wear many hats? What other professsions are going through something similar? 

Lowering the anxiety filter

If you are minimally into social media like Facebook or Instagram and love posting pictures, you have probably made good use of the range of filters available on these platforms. They usually work wonders for our original, run of the mill photos, getting us tons of likes and comments from friends and followers. The anxiety filter, on the other hand, doesn't bring us any brownie points or make our day. Pyschologist Jennifer Hartstein defines the anxiety filter as the thing that colors how we see the world, usually in a way that's negative or stressful. How we see ourselves and the world around us shapes how we face difficulty or how we succeed at whatever we do.  Learning another language is a gold mine of opportunities for the anxiety filter to work its spell. It can make the talkative student stutter, leave the quiet student speechless and set off a panic attack in the leaner who is already insecure about speaking in their own language.   Speaking in another language represents …

Why do I have to speak to you in English?

Two weeks into my "triumphant" return to the classroom as a teacher and not as a teacher trainer or coach, I found my classroom management skills "challenged" by my teen students. 
Working in a learning context in which English should be the medium of communication in every possible moment of the lesson, my responsibility is to ensure that students get meaningful and engaging opportunities to use the language so that their communication and oral skills are up to par. This is what we teachers, educators, coordinators have established as the modus operandi; the problems is we forget to check with the most important stakeholder - the student. Most of our Brazilian learners in language center contexts buy into the idea of speaking in English although they all share the same first language, probably driven by the belief that practice makes perfect and the only way you can master another language is by using it as much as possible. The principle applies to many other situ…

Sharing is caring, and learning.

I was over the moon when this question came up in the course our last #nt2t[1] Twtter chat.

How do you foster relationships as you start following more people or you start gaining more followers on Twitter?

Not putting people off but the more followers I get the more difficult it gets to answer everyone or check who is following you and follow them back. Sometimes I don't alway know who is following these days. #nt2t — Elizabeth Hutchinson (@Elizabethutch) February 17, 2018

If one of your aims on social media is to build a network of like-minded or inspiring educators who can push you to do more and positively contribute to your professional and personal development, you most likely identify with Elizabeth Hutchinson's tweet.
This is just one of the ways that the online world reflects the physical one - making connections that result in effective collaborative efforts takes time and interpersonal skills. Growing your PLN then means making it a point to reply to those who reach o…