And so this is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, a new one just begun…
Already? I think 2014 may have been the fastest year yet?!
The WordPress Monkeys recently sent me a round-up of my blogging year, and as usual it prompted reflection on the year as a whole, as well as what lies ahead.
In 2014 I:
– delivered my first webinar (for the British Council)
– delivered my first online conference presentations (for IH and for BELTA)
– spoke at IATEFL for the first time and also got proposal no. 2 accepted for Manchester this year
– spoke at MATSDA for the second time
– wrote a book chapter (for an edited book hopefully being published by IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG this year)
– taught EAP for the first time at Sheffield Uni
– completed the IH Certificate for Teaching YL and Teens
– finished year 1 and started year 2 in Palermo
– got some self study materials published by Richmond ELT (3 worksheets, CEFR A1 level, reading)
– won an ELTON (yes I remembered it at this stage of the list-making activity!
– won a British Council blog award for the posts I wrote at IATEFL in Harrogate.
– graduated with a distinction from my MA in ELT
– started the IH certificate for training to be a tutor/trainer
– had my column appear in the 2014 IH journals
– became vegan (not work-related but perhaps my most significant non-work related step) and developed a passion for cooking in the process!
– learnt a heck of a lot of Italian (and a lot about language learning in the process!)
… And thought around November-time that I was slacking and not really achieving enough in 2014. Hmm! Actually it was quite a year, so if academic year 2014-2015 started quietly enough (‘only’ doing the tutoring course and learning how to teach IELTS in addition to the usual work stuff and Italian study) maybe that’s ok, actually! 😉
Here is an excerpt from the WordPress Monkeys’ round up of my blogging year:
It is always interesting (for me) to see which are the top-viewed posts of the year. For 2014, I suppose they are fairly representative of what I got up to: I did indeed produce a well-received series of ‘Top 10 resources for…’ posts which have hopefully been helpful to some people, I enjoyed getting my teeth into discussing issues relating to language learning, I have been very busy working on my learner autonomy projects and I did lots of stuff in the classroom too!
2015 should be certainly an interesting year, with a few things pencilled in already. E.g. IATEFL, another webinar, a journal article due in May, reapplying to Sheffield Uni for the summer. It’s also a year of uncertainty, in that for the second year running I need to decide whether to do another year at IHPA or not. I think I really got lucky in getting my job there from Oct 2013, it’s been a great place to work with a lot of opportunity for development and I was delighted to return in October. However, I don’t know that a third year is for me. I think I want to return to the UK and settle down. Why? Quite simply because I’m not old but I’m not getting any younger and I find it quite an upheaval living between two places – just as you get used to being in one, then it’s time for a stint in the other. It’s the best of both worlds and yet the whole of neither of them. Not conducive to relationships or family building, either, in my opinion. (Teaching is awesome but I want a life outside of it too!) However, because of how it all works, the application timings involved, I would have to relinquish one job with no guarantee of another, which is scary! Fortunately I have supportive family and friends, and an ok CV so even if plan A didn’t work out, I will find a plan B or C (G? K? We’ll see!) somehow or another… Necessity is the mother of and all that. Meanwhile, I have another couple of months to think about it before crunch time!
One thing I do know is that I will continue to seize opportunities as they arise and see where that takes me – it seems to be working ok so far! This year I also want to extend the seizing to opportunities for having fun, and opportunities within my personal/social life, rather than only in the sphere of work: life is short (as my mum’s untimely death in 2009 taught me) and there *is* more to it than ELT (even though ELT is a fantastic part of it!). So, the blog may have been a bit quiet lately but rest assured the time has not been wasted. I’d like to blog more this year, as I do enjoy it and find it a great developmental tool, but I also have to balance all my other commitments AND have a life, so everything in moderation, I suppose… (Otherwise put, it may or may not be a little quiet until after I’ve finished the IH tutor training course!)
Finally, happy new year to you all and thank you for being part of this blog: sharing my posts with you is a real privilege. 🙂