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!


  1. Dear Ava, I've really missed your online presence and your blog. Congratulations on your new position and your exciting year! Things seem to have moved pretty fast!

    I truly believe you have a lot to share in your new position. I've never been anything but a classroom teacher and can benefit a lot from reading the reflective posts from a trainer (which is also teaching, IMO) and manager. I'd love a clearer idea of your bigger picture.

    I look forward to watching your blog evolve with you and reading more of your insights in 2014 whenever you find time to write.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Anne,
      Thank you so much for your comment, for reading, and for your kind words. Yes, things have been moving incredible fast, and at times it has felt hard to keep up!
      I really appreciate your feedback and agree that there is a lot to share from the administration side of things. I think I will explore ways in which I can still write things which are useful for teachers from this fresh perspective.
      I too, have missed reading and sharing and interacting with you as a central part of my PLN :) I hope that this year I will be able to find more balance and enable myself to participate more regularly as I once did. Writing, reading, and sharing within this community brings me a lot of joy and I just needed to remind myself of that.
      A very happy new year to you!!! Best wishes for a stellar 2014!