This post has been on my mind for weeks now, even before I started my blog, when I was still planning on even daring to do so…
I feel this is just the perfect way to thank Steve Muir for his recent presence in my professional journey.
Steve Muir is an experienced English teacher and teacher trainer from the British Council at Alcalá de Henares, in Madrid. He is the co-founder of the all.at.c blog, a treasure of video lesson plans for advanced learners.
In February, I signed up for a teacher training course offered by the Education Council in Madrid. It was called Didactic Multimedia for English Language Teaching. I’ve always had an interest on technology for educational purposes and this seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about it. It was a plus that the course would be entirely run in English, although I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. I even kind of forced myself to it, for I had been dragging myself to work for the past months and was feeling really unproductive and unmotivated.
It turned out to be the highlight of this school year so far. From the very first class, something changed. It was as if I had been stuck, like a car that had been parked for ages and someone decided to turn the ignition key 🙂
This motivational force was definitely the content, the dynamics, the language and the humour that Steve generated. Giving away marshmallows as a prize on the first day won me over too;)
Apart from introducing so many web based tools, sharing excellent classroom tips and activities with us, presenting interesting blogs and language resources, he also managed to engage a large group of diverse, very tired teachers after long days at work, inviting us to beat box, sing, dance, discuss, get to know each other and most of all provide us with opportunities to share and learn.
Certainly, I learned loads, but what I’m most grateful for is to have had this experience, right when I felt quite unfulfilled. Steve is a model teacher to me and represents the kind of English language teacher I started to train to be but got lost in the way.
I took the CELTA course a couple of years ago. It was a challenge, but I decided to do it because deep down I knew I wanted to go through the wonderful privilege of teaching abroad, in very different countries, to discover and connect with people from other cultures. I am drawn to non-academic contexts, where there is so much room for creativity and such variety in the focus of the learning process.
For the most part of my education, I have always been part of a classroom with at least five or six different nationalities, being the English language what allowed us to communicate and connect. I miss that.
I’ve progressed and gained valuable experience from these years teaching at schools, but it’s time to move on and take risks with the hope of finding a more fulfilling path.
This blog is one of those first steps. Soon I will be heading to Barcelona, to keep on developing as an English teacher. Who know’s what will be next ???
I had almost forgotten it’s really up to me. I can actually choose my next steps and the direction I would like to follow.
Thanks for reminding me Steve. 🙂