18 things for 2018

The first month of 2018 is already at an end (how did that happen?!) and I’ve yet to publish a single blog post! This is due to a combination of a busy week-day schedule and my no-work-at-weekends policy (something I aim for but don’t always succeed with – I gave a webinar for an EVO course a couple of weekends ago, for example.) Anyway, finally I am getting round to writing a blog post again. “18 things” is, deliberately, rather vague. Things to do? Things to remember? Things I am thinking about? Things I am putting off? Things I am looking forward to? Things I am trying to do? The answer, is a mixture of all the above!

Things to do

  • Write a 7000 word book chapter (so far, the abstract is done and submitted – all of 500 words…!)
  • Mark 48 formative assessment paragraphs (well, strictly speaking this will enter the list on Monday from 9am!)
  • Figure out how best to teach the dependent and independent clauses lesson that is scheduled for my lessons next Thursday/Friday (when I have volunteered to be observed by a CELTA trainee from the ELTC!).
  • Go to that training session about “Learning Conversations” (tutorials) that is scheduled for today.

Things to remember

  • If it’s not raining, stick waterproof trousers in the pannier anyway – it probably will be for the ride home later! NB no rain does not necessarily equal no need for waterproof trousers – the roads may still be wet from the last lot of rain and therefore you will end up being liberally covered in ‘rain from below’ (aka spray) sent up by your wheels or passing car wheels.
  • Studying Polish on Memrise is really quick, I can fit it in. Progress may be slow when doing it in such tiny increments but it is still better than nothing!
  • It’s ok not to do all the things. There are only a fixed number of hours in a day and days in a week (sadly) so the need for first, second and third-level lists of things to do is real. Some things may not make it on to any of the above and that is ok too!

Things I am thinking about

  • How cool is google docs? We have been working on main body paragraphs and cohesion and introductions/conclusions in recent lessons, and having students write them in pairs on a class google doc not only makes it so much easier for me to give feedback/suggestions as they are writing but also enables the students to redraft in successive lessons based on new input.
  • What makes a woman a woman? What is a woman? Seems like whatever definition you come up with excludes people that are also definitely women! On a related point, is being a woman but bucking stereotypes/gender roles etc similar to being ‘non-binary’ or ‘gender-queer’ or not? If not, what is the difference? (I am doing the online dating thing at the moment and have encountered a fair number of people who identify as gender queer, non-binary or androgynous, which is what has sparked this question!)
  • It’s already half way through week 4 of term – how did that happen? I have three lovely groups of students (now 16 to a class but initially were 20 to a class). Am I ready for tomorrow’s lessons? (yes) Have I sorted out all the admin-y things I need to have done at this point? (I think so…) I need to bring more teabags into work soon. Where is that training session happening again? (Errr) …Aka general teacher-y thoughts, I won’t bore you with any more!

Things I am putting off

  • Making a dental appointment. I really ought to go to the dentist for a check-up. Finding time for the initial appointment and the inevitable follow-up fix everything appointments hasn’t happened yet. This may have been on my list of things to do since about last summer…
  • Making a decision about the mountain marathon I entered last year, that will take place in July this year. This term my schedule in combination with winter doesn’t lend itself very well to running training, so my longest run for a while has been 12k. Realistically I won’t be able to run a marathon in July. But you never know…next term and the one after might be different…and the days will be lighter longer so there will be more scope for training…

Things I am looking forward to

  • I always look forward with great enthusiasm to my next meal or even snack. I suppose that is a consequence of all the exercise I do! In relation to this, also to any cooking (always in batches cos time!) and baking (see “snacks” above) I do.
  • IATEFL!! I am going this year, unlike last year. The accommodation is booked and everything.
  • Trips to Sicily to see my horse babies. Star was born 9 and half months or so ago (mid-April, apologies if my maths is incorrect!), I will be going to see him and mother Alba in late March, when he will be nearly a yearling! Also hoping to go in June and September. Haven’t been since last September. A long autumn term and that pesky thing called Christmas cause the imbalance in numbers of trips able to be made!

Things I am trying to do

  • Keep a healthy work-life balance (the “no-work-on-weekends” rule is part of this! Additionally, as my schedule involves early morning work and late afternoon work, for the most part, I am aiming to do some form of exercise on all the days in question – either swimming or bouldering, as these are most accessible from my workplace – in order to get me out of work and off my behind briefly each day in the long hours between the cycle commutes.)
  • Keep studying Polish. I have given up on all my other languages for now. (Except Italian which I keep up out of habit, ditto French) There isn’t enough time for everything. Hopefully in future I will get back to them again.
  • Get back into climbing…I used to be a keen climber until about 2010 when I went abroad to teach. Since then I have done the tiniest smattering. I’d like to get back into doing it outdoors on rock. My indoor bouldering this term is hopefully a precursor…

So, I think that’s 18 things (I counted twice but I don’t trust my maths at the best of times…) that give a snapshot of where I’m at the moment. I will endeavour to squeeze in more blogging in the coming months – at least there’s sure to be a good handful in April! 😉 I’ve just noticed the “Things I am trying to do” section is all non-work related. I’m trying to do lots of work-related and CPD-related things too though.

If anybody fancies writing their own list of 18 things, like this one, and finds the time to do so, I’d like to see your snapshots too so share a link with me in the comments here! 🙂

Belated happy new year to all of you!

2 thoughts on “18 things for 2018

  1. Don’t think I can stick to 18 if I write my own post, but glad to see that the work-life balance is working out better 🙂 I’m getting there too, I hope… Also very pleased to see that the multi-level to-do lists are in here 😉
    Looking forward to chatting soon and seeing you face-to-face at IATEFL! x

  2. I love the sentence “It’s oK not to do it all” – trying to hold on to that thought. It’s hard!
    You are amazing, Lizzie! Way to go! So glad I had the opportunity to meet you!

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