Mojo, spark, zest, call it what you will, I lost it. I know I didn´t do a bad job over the last 18 months and in some ways maybe I was a better teacher because I saw the bigger picture. I want to point out that I know I had a lot to be grateful for. I was lucky to have some brilliant students who were a real pleasure to teach. I work(ed) in a great team with supportive colleagues. I had a job which isn´t something to be taken for granted. Nevertheless, I almost completely stopped blogging and tweeting. I didn´t do any work-related reading and although I continued to work on my CPD through the training I receive as part of my job I wasn’t doing the things I normally would enjoy.
However, I think I might have found my mojo. It´s coming back and here are some of the things that I’ve been doing recently or plan to do.
Sandy Millin´s Take your time Delta Module One
I’ve been toying with the DELTA/MA idea for some time now. However, like many people money and time have always been an issue. I was delighted to see that Sandy Millin was offering a ‘take your time DELTA module one course’. I’ve followed Sandy’s blog since I started teaching. Finally my ‘shall I, shan’t I’ debate has come to an end and gone is the concern of how will I manage to do ten hours each week on top of full-time employment. As you’d expect from Sandy, the interview/application process was thorough and very informative and I had no doubts about signing up. I’m really looking forward to it. If you’re interested and want to be my classmate you can find out about it here.
The Tefl Hub
I live in Andalucia and there’s a strong TEFL community. In Seville teachers often refer to the people down at Active Language in Cadiz as the ‘good people’. I saw Teresa Bestwick share on Twitter that they had started a TEFL Development Hub group some time ago. I finally joined and I’ve been able to catch up on some of their previous webinars. There are lots of things on offer from coffee break chats, idea sharing and webinars. I recognise lots of familiar names in the busy Facebook group and I’m sure I’ll get a lot out of it. If you want to join the information can be found here.
As I mentioned above I’ve not been reading in the way that I normally would. However, I recently purchased 100 + Professional Development Tips for Post-CELTA teachers: Ideas to hit the ground running by Pete Clements. I´ve been a long-time reader of the ELT planning blog and this e-book was packed full of tips for teachers who are post-CELTA. I wish I´d had this when I did my first few post-CELTA lesson observations as Pete explains what the proformas are really asking for. Even though it ‘s been 9 years since I completed my CELTA, I was pleased with how many ideas I got for activities I’ll use in class soon. There were particularly good suggestions for pronunciation and vocabulary recycling. It’s a bargain so I´d recommend checking it out here.
To my great surprise I also wrote this very blog post!! It had been a while.
These are some of the things that I’ve done that I think will have a positive impact on my teaching. I don´t regret taking a bit more time off over the last year and a half, but I’ve started feeling a little bit more like my old self. What CPD have you got planned? What helps you when you feel as though you´ve lost your teaching ‘spark’?