Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Toward the Future in 2014

2013 was a very exciting year for me, both personally and professionally. I spent one month training and working with prospective teachers in the Ecuadorian Amazon. I started a new job as the Academic Manager at a language school. I continued to develop my skills as an ESL professional, and I began to consider all of the exciting directions in which my career could go. It was not, however, a great year for Lover is a Better Teacher.

My last post was written and posted 2 months ago. To be honest, since taking on my new job I have been challenged in a way I have not been in a long time. Every day I come to work, and I remain active and engaged for 8-10 hours. By the time I commute home and take care of basic necessities like feeding myself, I am pooped. There has not been a lot of free time for friends, leisure, or blogging.

And then there’s something else...something that has definitely kept me off this blog and that I have been hesitant to share with this community.  Here it is. Since starting this new job about three months ago, I have not been teaching. My job as an Academic Manager revolves around education, ESL, teaching and learning to the very core; but my day-to-day position is no longer in the classroom. While I am lucky to be in a position where I can gain upper-level skills and experience, and have a hand in the “bigger picture” of the ESL education setting, it is definitely not the same as it has been for the last three years. When I started this blog I was in the classroom actively teaching for about 30 hours a week. There was tons of material, and a daily playground on which to practice, develop, and reflect on the experience of teaching. In fact, the whole premise of this blog was to create a space in which I could reflect on my experiences with the classroom, learn from the experience of others, and develop my skills as a teacher as a results. Now I find myself in a different position and a different setting, wondering if the “old model” for this blog still fits, and fearing that it does not.

I have been really sad about this. I started this blog as a new ESL teacher, excited about sharing my experiences learning and developing skills as a teacher and as a learner. I still have the same passion for this field, and a deep desire to write about it and share my experience with others, but find myself questioning if I have anything good to share, or if I no longer fit in a community of ESL teacher/bloggers.
I wanted to write because its the last day of 2013, because I am so grateful for the challenges and opportunities which the last year has given me, and because I am looking forward to future and trying to be thoughtful about where to go with this blog. I want to continue to write, yet am not sure about whether I need to change my focus and write about ESL from a business/administration angle, or from a teacher training angle, both of which are more closely matched with my day-to-day experience. Or do I keep the blog as what it once was, and write only when I get to steal days in the classroom as a sub for my teachers? I don’t know. But I wanted to get honest about what has been going on in my world. I also want to thank anyone and everyone who reads this, for taking a part, past, present, or future, in sharing this journey with me.

I look forward to seeing what the next year brings for me, for Love is a Better Teacher, and for all of you. Happy 2014, everyone!