First of all, Happy New Year. I hope it is a great one for all of us.
2015 was a really good year for me, professionally. I know I didn't update this blog much, but I was super busy elswere.
The highlight of my year was the British Council Trainer Development Course, which took place last spring and which I completed successfully. So, I am now a teacher trainer and I have got a shiny new certificate to prove this.
It was a great course, though very hard physically. We all learnt a lot and we formed lasting friendships. The best thing of all was that we had a fantastic teacher. She supported us every step of the way.
I will never think of this course without thinking about my teacher, Danijela Serafijanovic. And I will never think about this course without a sadness in my heart. For, we lost her. The illness was sudden and it took her away quickly.
I don't know how to talk about this, or deal with my feelings. And, when I get stuck on something, I tend to write poetry. So, here's a poem I wrote for Danijela.
You are standing on the corner,
in your best clothes,
holding a piece of paper.
It is pink and crisp.
You are careful not to bend it.
You turn around,
but you are all alone.
Suddenly you have forgotten
how to cross the street.
It is your first day at school,
but no one came to pick you up.
You don’t know the way home
and there is no adult to take your hand.
Then you remember
that you are the adult now.
She left, but not before
she passed it all on
It is hard to lose a teacher. I hope I can pay her a tribute every time I give a workshop, or present in public. Maybe even through blog posts.
There is one other thing that kept me busy last year (and will keep me busy in the year to come as well), and that's SEETA. SEETA is short for South Eastern Europe Teachers' Association. We are an NGO now. I first got involved with SEETA through courses and workshops they organised, then there was a webinar on blogging, which was followed by a blogging forum I moderated. Last year our Chair Anna Parisi was kind enough to offer me a place in the SEETA Board. I am a Volunteers Manager now, which basically means that I coordinate volunteers and deal with any issues that might arise connected to SEETA volunteers. I am also a member of the advertising team and I post to Facebook on new SEETA activities.
SEETA community is very supportive and I am grateful for the opportunity to give something back to it. If you have never attended a workshop or a webinar on the SEETA Moodle, I suggest you give it a try and I am sure you will come back for more.
And then, there are EVO sessions. Last year I was an EVO moderator for the first time. I moderated EbookEVO and it was a great experience. Guess what - I am doing it again this year and it starts on Monday. Please join. You will learn a lot about creating and curating your own e-textbooks, and this will empower you in the classroom, by giving you more control over the materials you use with your students.
There are a few other EVO sessions that I would like to attend, but more about that in my next blog posts. If you are a reader of this blog, then you know there is always more activity here during EVO then during the rest of the year. This year, I am hoping to change that.
I miss this blog. It is the place where I used to come in order to clear my mind and make sense of things. The writing process was never easy here, but it was so useful. I feel that I have grown as a teacher just by writing occasionally in this blog during the last eight years. Since I started my poetry blog some two years ago, I started coming here less and less. I have always loved writing and my poetry blog gave me instant gratification - I would spend up to an hour on a poem and that was it. Nothing like the laborious process that went into creating posts on my teaching blog.
I am not big on resolutions, especially the unrealistic ones that most people create at the beginning of each year, only to abandon them a couple of weeks later. I believe in seizing the moment and playing it by ear. And doing it all year round. Or, if you must write down your resolutions, keep the bar low and the goals achievable. Still, there is one resolution I made for 2016 which concerns this blog. I am going to write at least one blog post every month. Yes, I am keeping the bar low. And the goal is achievable. Let's see if I can find the discipline to do it.
I have got other plans for 2016. I would like to present at a conference or two. And a longer teacher training workshop would be a nice thing.
Besides that, we will see. I will just play it by ear, as usual.