As I explained last year around this time, I usually abstain from the New Year blog posts. I prefer to start my personal new year today instead.
A look back:
- I was awarded a master’s degree in applied linguistics. This was the culmination of two years of hard (and less hard) work and studying and limited free time. The classes that interested me most were about morphology and syntax and intercultural communication. I found myself engaged in debates about language change, prescriptivism, and the native-speaker standard.
- I ended my long-term and long-distance relationship. A choice made with sadness, but not regret.
- I quit my job. My job was perfect for one working on an MA – long stretches of free time, free housing, beautiful scenery, isolation. For someone who has completed a degree, however, it spelled insane boredom interspersed with high-intensity work, and very little actual teaching.
- I moved cities. Twitter followers have stopped seeing #KELTchatWeather updates from #BeautifulGyeongju, but Facebook friends are now seeing #ThingsIsawToday from #PineCityGangneung. Some of the advantages of Gangneung: less isolated, very bike-able, friendly, cool. Disadvantage: snow.
- I started teaching elementary and middle school students a wide variety of levels, topics, skills, and challenges. This has been an incredible learning experience for me. Teaching mixed levels and adapting outdated course books and brainstorming ways to help students reach their learning goals and motivating unwilling students (just a few can bring down a whole class). Finding ways to teach pronunciation and to get students to have conversations about topics in their readers. Managing time for a 50 minute class (when I used to teach for three hour stretches). It’s a continuous learning process (i.e. I still suck at it).
- I gave my first workshop (on feedback).
- I built a website for my classes. It’s still a work in progress and the students don’t have the link yet.
- I started a book blog for my 52 books self-challenge. As you can see, I’m already behind.
- I traveled with a group from our school to London and Paris. That was something.
- I joined the #RPPLN and met a lot of incredible people I look forward to continue reflecting with online.
March 1 begins my 35th year. Here’s a look at what might be ahead for me!
What’s coming up:
Who knows what the future will hold, but there are a few things on the horizon.
- #KELTchat! Join us live and unplugged in Seoul this month – and watch the website, Facebook or Twitter for future online chats.
- The RP SIG in Korea back from winter vacation. I love me some face-to-face reflection. #NotAJunkie
- More #RPPLN challenges, questions, feedback and support. The latest challenge is here: a challenge to describe. #OKMaybeAJunkie
- Experiments with small changes in the Breaking Rules community. The first two breaking rules courses have come and gone, but the legacy of rule breakers lives on in the iTDi forum.
- iTDi courses and other webinars and opportunities to learn online. I intend to take advantage of as many as possible.
- Experiments with ER, chants, and technology in my classes. These are my pet projects for the year.
- More bike rides.
- A trip home. I haven’t been home in two years I think. A visit is long overdue.
This post is dedicated to the people who make me feel special every day of the year. I look forward to another year of amazing learning and sharing together.