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Some things I am certain of (for now, this is beta, OK?)

These are mostly notes to self. You see, I read a lot and I fear losing touch with my own ideas. So I jot down a few to go back to them when learning gets too messy.

Thought it might be useful to share. Hence, post.

1) Teaching English is hard, anything else is an adverbial adjunct of place, manner and time. In other words, teaching is worth discussing. Anything else can be found for free on the Internet.

2) Time can be an excuse. Few things are not done because of time constraints. (I need more time to explain those few things, though. Suffice to say time is money and teachers need jobs).

3) Technology in the classroom is an intangible. Or not. If it is there and needs cleaning, it is probably not an enhancer, but an extra time consuming obstacle, needy for integration. Good technology use in the classroom is transparent and intertwined.

4) Transparency fosters authority. Mind you, not because I say so. I am talking about transparency about processes. Blog posts about how you are -right now- developing ideas and action. If you post after, if you just communicate results, this is more valuable as history or (self) marketing.

5) Motivation is a drug. It is a short-term target. It needs more and more to be done on the part of the teacher just to keep it going (see #2 above). Better keep the eyes on the mission. Better make people "addicted" to learning, to the process, to the autonomy of it. There are intrinsic reasons why this is pleasurable, meaningful and long lasting per se.

6) There are no how-tos. There are purposes. Question is not how-to but to what foreseeable end you work for. Allow for the unforeseeable, yet meaningful to happen.

7) Mind the use of the word "enhance" when linked to learning. Mind the gap. Old things are just old things.

8) Online contact does not entail collaboration. Work together does not imply face-to-face. Anything in the middle is ambiguous and requires a clarification of terms. That's a good use of a blog.

9) Standards are for things that fit a pattern. When educators claim that creativity is a "21st century" essential skill, we need to accept the limitations of striving for standards. Assessment and standards are cousins.

10) Doubt, question and never, ever just assume. Particularly applicable to all of the above.


More brewing in my mind at the moment. I'd rather pause here and wait for your thoughts.


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Claudia,

First a meta comment: You say 'These are mostly notes to self', and although I'm very glad you shared them, I believe you. This is not the first time you have spoken on you blog from this voice, and each time you do, I feel like I'm peeking into your mind. This inner voice slips by my conscious filter and speaks to my unconscious directly ~ Wonderful!

I could comment on all of these points, but instead I'll focus on just one:
7) Mind the use of the word "enhance" when linked to learning. Mind the gap. Old things are just old things.
This is such a good point! We do not advance from the early airplanes by sticking to using double winged biplanes or 'enhancing' the propeller engine. If a blog is used to 'enhance' the sharing of homework then the point of a blog is missed.

It will take me a while to digest all of this insightful thinking. As always, thank you for contributing to my learning!

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