June 2010 archive



 When I read Emma Herrod’s post on planning a lesson, I started thinking about my own style. Emma’s post asks a lot of useful question to the teacher and there are wonderful contributions to the post in the comments sections. I really do agree with most of them and I had some more ideas how to organize myself while reading those contributions.

Now let me tell what I can advise the teachers ‘in their first three years’ as Emma asked.

Planning yourself and your time should be a must but I’m sure you will soon apply your own planning method. In the first years of my teaching, I also wrote everything on my lesson plans but soon I learned how to organize myself.

  • Routines are important so have a routine.
  • Start each lesson with a fun activity, preferably related with the thing you are about to do.
  • Finish your lessons before the bell and have a few seconds to unwind with your students.
  • Spend some time with the homework you have given, otherwise; they will stop doing them.

I tend to plan my lessons weekly but sometimes I act according to a flow. I can change my plans even in the lesson when something interesting comes to my mind.

Unfortunately I can’t write my lesson plans on computer as I need a pen to hold while thinking or brainstorming so I have notebooks where I write my routes of that week and I keep post-it notes in my pencil case to add an idea when it comes so the course book I use is usually full of sticky-notes.

However, one fine summer, years ago I sat and filed all the exercises I wrote on my computer so I have tense files, activity files, relative clause files with some teaching ideas on my computer.

This year I bookmarked so many great ideas and links on delicious and it helped me a lot before planning my lessons.

For more ideas on planning your TEFL life you can read the followings:


We all talk about the privileges of having a PLN and we agree that twitter is one of the most powerful tools for the educators to build your PLN. If you have a PLN, it means that you have a constant professional development network. However, if you think that twitter is just for professional development then you are missing the best part of it.

So what can you do with your PLN on twitter?

Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, Pecha Kuchas online football 

Watch the matches, games together. You can even hear your friends’ voices.


Drink coffee, tea together and chat at the same time.


Watch Eurovision song contest and have fun together while the votes are given


Listen to music and talk about it.


Eat chocolate  and share the guilt as a big group

Fun things happen spontaneously. If you join the conversation, you will understand me much better. Sometimes good things are just a hashtag away.

P.S: You can celebrate birthdays, achievements, births and all the happy moments with your PLN 🙂

Communication In Class

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.


Well, We all know that if a kid doesn’t like the teacher, he stops learning or if a kid trusts his teacher, he starts to do something for the lesson. Parents also know that sometimes their kids misbehave because they think their parents ignore them. So every act in a class or at home can be a hint for the teacher or the parent to evaluate themselves and change certain things.

Rapport is defined as ‘a good understanding of someone and an ability to communicate well with them’ (Cambridge Dictionary online) Communiaction is a mutual thing. If we move one step further, the other person will need to move too. If we move 2 steps further, he will at least move one step towards us.

As a teacher or a parent, we should find ways to build rapport or establish good communication with the kids.

This shouldn’t mean getting approval or being liked or becoming the most popular teacher in the school. You can be cool, trendy but the relationship between you and your students can be so artificial. A good relaship between you and your students can be the result of certain things which were done to gain confidence. If the student understands the teacher cares for him, he surely will  try to change himself.

How to establish good relationship with your students:


First impressions are important. Even at a workshop, seminar or a performance, we always remember the beginning and the ending. Thus, from the first day you meet your students everything you do counts.

We can keep the followings in mind before we prepare ourselves for our classes:

  • Explain yourself.  Let them know they will have limits- if they know your rules, they will play the game according to the rules.
  • Encourage your students
  • Motivate and support them when needed.
  • Praise them -even we need praise and we feel unhappy when we don’t get it.
  • Be prepared and well-planned (they see the difference very well)
  • Be enthusiastic about teaching- enthusiasm is infectious,
  • Respect them, listen to them- if they understand you regard them as a human-being, they will feel they are also important.
  • Behave each student equally- all of them learn at different speeds and all of them have different learning styles. Read more to learn more.
  • Make eye-contact and learn their names from the very first day of the class.
  • Smile as much as possible, be cheerful and energetic
  • Be creative and enhance their creativity
  • Bring the world to the classroom.
  • Do something enjoyable at any level of the lesson – a warmer, filler or a game…

I’m not a teacher: only a fellow-traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead — ahead of myself as well as you.
 -George Bernard Shaw


Evaluating Myself

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Schools have just closed and a nice summer holiday waits. Reading will be my most favourite activity in the long, lazy afternoons.

This year was very fruitful for me. So many things have happened and so many things have changed in my life. This is because of the things I’ve been doing since September. So let me tell about them:

  1. A training session with Özge: She just opened a window and the viewfrom the window  was so bright and amazing. I had already started a blog but couldn’t even find what to write there. I must thank her many times.
  2. Blogging enables me to speak my mind and share what I’ve collected as a teacher so far because of this it is my favourite.
  3. Twitter: without twitter, it was impossible to go as far as you want to. It helped me to have my Personal Learning Network.
  4. Edchat: Even with 140 characters, it is possible to discuss very serious issues. It is a great experiment to be part of it. Whenever I’m free, I really enjoy the conversation.
  5. Nings: There are loads of ideas, links, lesson plans, videos shared on them.
  6. Workshops: For the first time in my teaching life I attended conferences as a speaker and I enjoyed the experiment very much.
  7. Train the trainer was a course I attended this year and it helped me a lot to learn how to prepare and deliver workshops.
  8. Collaborations: I met wonderful people via twitter, blogging and we started projects, we had skype chats together. My students contributed to Arjana Blazic’s project then she also joined me and Alexandra and we started to grow our project and now our friends from twitter are also with us.
  9. Guest blogging: It was Shelly Terrell who first asked me to be a guest blogger on her blog then Marmaraelt and Barbara Sakamoto. These were great experiments and challenges for me.
  10.  Guest bloggers on my blog: I proudly announce that I’m a very lucky teacher who has a PLN and when I asked my friends to write a guest post for my blog, Arjana Blazic and Janet Bianchini agreed and sent their wonderful posts. I do hope to have more guest bloggers here as I learn a lot from my PLN.

I’ve been teaching for twenty-something years but I still feel I can teach for some more years and all these things I mentioned above have been acting as professional development courses.


What I’ve bookmarked recently

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Twitter enables all of us to reach fabulous links. These are my recent favourites.

 I know it is possible to survive as a teacher without twitter, nings, PLNs yet teachers should know they are missing great stuff because they just have a PLN at school.

1. Braingle is a site where you can find brain teasers, riddles, logic problems, quizzes that you can use in your classes as a warmer or a filler.

2.  Why Teach with Project Learning?: These days I tend to read and bookmark everything I find about PBL and this is a really useful article pointing out why PBL should be used.

3. Critical Thinking On The Web is a directory for online resources.

4. pikikids is a site which allows you to create comics uploading your own photographs.

5. Tips, Tools and Technology for Educators is a great article with lots of links which enables us to create and collaborate. 


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