#30Goals: Me Manifesto drafted. Well, sort of.

Goal 1 or the first part of the first challenge within the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators 2012 (Thank you, Shelly & Lisa!) was to create our own Me Manifesto, about what makes us tick, our beliefs about learning and what kind of ideals we carry in our classroom.

It has certainly made me think. And then think again. Start drafting. Then reorganize, feel at a loss, start over, take some photos, and plunge into it.

Here is an overview of the manifesto (a trailer?), created using Animoto. It is called the Copycat Me Manifesto because it is organized around well-known mottos (white font used), which served as the basis for highlighting some key things (no copycatting here) that I genuinely care about in my classroom when it comes to my students.

Below is the longer version. It contains a lot of I shalls, as it has been created also so as to help me stay on track.

Typically, only after finalising the image, I realised that it can be only a draft, as it fails to communicate or hint all those things that make me tick. As a consolation, I might claim that some of these issues, such as going green and raising consumers’ awareness, are embedded in the ‘relevant and topical issues’. Then again, I have been around for too long a time to have but few things that make me tick.

I am a language teacher. We teach how to communicate, how to think, react and express ourselves using words, body language and more – how to interact with the world. No wonder that a greater part of my manifesto is not about language structures. And this is something I really like about my job, my profession, my calling.


Dickens lives! (Blog Action Day 2011)

I am proud to be taking part in Blog Action Day OCT 16 2011 www.blogactionday.org

Blog Action Day 2011.

This year it is about food.

Food for thought too.


Food, food, glorious food.


How many of us teachers have students sitting in our classes that are hungry, were hungry yesterday, and will go hungry tomorrow, and so inevitably underperform?

I do. Not many of them. But even one hungry student is one to many.

I can’t do much. Whenever there is a test I try to pass around some cookies or chocolate (not the healthiest stuff, I know), to increase their sugar level at least so that they could focus. And I know I should do more.


Talking about food is always a great topic in English classes, right? Well, not quite. Sometimes it can be a sensitive issue. Even simple questions like “How often do you eat meat?” can stiffen up some students. And no, they are not vegetarians, it’s just that their single parent cannot afford to buy meat.  Last year I discovered that Christmas is not a safe haven, especially for children from broken families.


And what’s your students’ favourite flavour? Chocolatey, fruity, savoury, astringent, dulcet, or succulent?  All nice words but all wrong: what they really love is monosodium glutamate. Period.

Or maybe a question mark?


What’s Dickens got to do with food and BAD 2011?

We mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens on 7 February 2012. Dickens is not just a Victorian writer whose characters are well-known around the globe. The issues he described in his work transcend his time.  Hunger is one of them.



Need new inspiration for teenagers?

If you have been looking for a new coursebook to teach your teenage students – or are just in need of some fresh perspective, feel free to join a free Macmillan webinar on 5 October.

Philip Prowse and Judy Garton-Sprenger: New Inspiration: An insider’s guide to the new, improved course.

  • By the way, how do you feel about all the ‘New’ editions of various publishers?
  • And what are your top-five words that come to your mind when you think about teenagers?

Macmillan webinar for YLE teachers

Carol Read‘s “Picture books and cross-curricular themes” webinar is scheduled for September 21.

The title seems to be more promising than the usual CLIL, storytelling or reading seminars.

(Also, why not check out some of the previous seminars? Might get inspired for this year’s challenges ahead. I know I got.)