…. and thank you notes to all those who affected my professional life in the past year

This has been an amazing year for this blog and this member of a strong and ever-widening PLN. My Christmas stocking is filled already with the gift of friendship of an amazing group of colleagues from the four corners of the globe but who I talk to every day!

Esra Girgin Akiskali, Amanda Wilson, Shelly Terrell, myself, Petra Pointner, Ozge Karaoglu & Vicky Saumel - photo from IATEFL Harrogate 2010

Esra Girgin Akiskali, Amanda Wilson, Shelly Terrell, myself, Petra Pointner, Ozge Karaoglu & Vicky Saumel at IATEFL Harrogate 2010

See what I mean? And these are just some of the people I have come to value and count as part of my daily professional life.

Here are my New Year’s Resolutions as stated in last year’s post;  in a word (cloud), ….


Made with wordle.net

Here is what I said and what happened (in a table; it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a table, would it now… 🙂 )

My 2010 Resolutions
Migration from DELTA website to a new DELTA wiki Mission accomplished! And three more wikis created in same year for our CELTA trainees, for our English language learners, for our Translation trainees… I have also been working on a wiki to help teachers’ associations use more technology, which I hope to be able to show on Associates day at IATEFL Brighton in 2011.
Find time to write my own materials Sad to say, didn’t even look for that kind of time!
Organize my centre more efficiently so I don’t have to be there all the time Mission more or less accomplished! I don’t actually have to be there, but it looks as if I am working all the time – that is something that still needs fixing.
Attend more conferences in person This was a good year – I attended and presented at our own local conference, TESOL Greece, then went to Istanbul to attend and present at ISTEK  Schools Conference. This was topped off with my first time at IATEFL International at Harrogate where I presented – both Istanbul and Harrogate were great occasions for meeting many friends who – so far – had only been Twitter friends!
Integrate technology into my teacher training courses It’s happening, but taking a lot more time than I thought it would, especially with younger trainees, the so-called digital natives (in the Prenskyan sense of the word). Some of them have proved to be less native than expected with much more resistance to innovation and change; this is, in fact, one of the topics I am going to be talking about at IATEFL Brighton in 2011
Teach in Second Life Am now officially a resident with my own plot where I can run courses – have presented in Second life and am, hopefully, also going to be involved in the TESOL EVO course for Teaching in Virtual Worlds.
Online presentation skills Somewhat improved: I had the opportunity to present a few times online, as you see on my Presentations page – even in Second Life, which is a different set up completely and where my presentation skills were, more recently, put to the test.
Watercolour paintings or music composed? ? Not a single watercolour created; I listened to a lot of music but not a single tune or even  short jingle were created this past year. Bad year for the arts!
Writing blog posts more frequently. Unfortunately, I have not turned out to be a prolific blogger, like some of the friends I admire who churn them out at the drop of a link! But I am very happy to have had two articles accepted by two major publications. One was co-authored with Sara Hannam and will be appearing in a special manual to be published by IATEFL (”  Running an Association for Language Teachers”) and the other one will be published in a special edition of the  International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT).

There are many other special moments I want to thank my PLN for:

Presenting online –  I want to send special thanks to Shelly Terrell who is responsible for so much of my online involvement and who keeps inviting me to these amazing online events! I had the pleasure of meeting Shelly in person at ISTEK and Harrogate but was also fortunate to have her as my CELTA trainee this past August – she is one amazing bundle of energy and joy to the people around her but having watched her closely for the four weeks of the course, I have to let you in on the secret: she is a very very very very very hard worker – her success is the result of many hours of dedicated work and I wish her every success and joy in her personal and professional life.  Thank you so much Shelly and thank you for your gift of friendship.

Meeting my Twitter PLN – Special thanks to Burcu Akyol for inviting me to ISTEK Schools Conference and giving me the first and very memorable opportunity to meet my Twitter PLN in person – and to watch her in action! She is one phenomenal organizer!

Participating in an EU project – Special thanks to Shelly Terrell for suggesting my institution and Joel Josephson for including me in – soon (in early January) I shall be meeting with all the partners in Barcelona.

Getting involved in learning and writing about technology and pedagogy – special thanks to some of the great educators in my PLN, Nik Peachey first of all and his great tweets and blog posts here and here – more special thanks to Nik for his very great kindness in including me (!!! I still feel total astonishment at this – so do quite a few others, I believe 😉 )  in this very special post with the wow title: Let us now praise famous women That felt so fabulous – thanks, Nik!

Many thanks also to Graham Stanley for encouraging me and supporting me in writing an article for the International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT).  Since my M.A. I hadn’t really done academic writing of this sort and writing for a refereed journal was a new and extremely valuable experience!

Being invited to work on the TESOL EVO (more on this soon) – my special thanks must go to Heike Philps, a very special person, who insists that I can do it! Well, what else can I do but try? More special thanks to Heike for inviting me to both recent Virtual Round Table Conferences  first and second as well as to be a panel member for the opening plenary at the Slanguages 2010 conference – Heike is now my neighbour in Second Life and I am hopeful we will be doing more together soon!

Jeremy Harmer, Shelly Terrell, Carol Rainbow, myself and Tamas Lorincz at IATEFL Harrogate 2010

Jeremy Harmer, Shelly Terrell, Carol Rainbow, myself & Tamas Lorincz at IATEFL Harrogate 2010

But my thanks must go to one more special friend, Carol Rainbow, my Second Life dear friend who drove all the way to Harrogate to see us for one day! She is so special, especially because in this world of blowing one’s own trumpet she remains one of the most (unjustifiably) modest people I know.

Thanks to her and all the members of my PLN, this has been a most amazing year for me and for this blog.  There are so many, I can’t even begin to think how each one has sent me an idea, inspired by a tweet or a link.

My very special Christmas Season wishes must go to all my trainees in the past year (and years before!). Although they don’t perhaps realize it, they are also a very important part of my PLN. They learn from me but I learn from them, with them and for them all the time!

Last but not least, I must mention the joy of moderating #ELTchat every Wednesday. I will be writing a separate blog post about it but the conversations with all those members of my PLN who have joined in the online discussions and those who have agreed to be interviewed, Jeremy Harmer (UK) , Janet Bianchini (UK living in Italy), Graham Stanley (UK living in Spain), Beya Yilmaz (Turkey), Simon Greenall (UK) and Vicky Loras (Greek-Canadian living in Switzerland) – thank you all for connecting with us on #ELTchat.

Thank you all for visiting and reading these lines which means my voice is heard and ideas spread. And if they are worth spreading, they will stay with some of you long enough to create some small inspiration and a desire for change.

Happy Christmas Wishes and all the Best for 2011

Related Blog Post

Bridget Jones and my New Year’s Resolutions – 2009

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