Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2016 – where has the time gone?
If 2015 was a less-than-exciting year for me personally and professionally, then 2016 is going to bring plenty of challenges and opportunities for growth. I can’t wait!
The greatest challenge I’ll face in the next twelve months is my planned trip to Kyrgyzstan: I’ll spend two days in Bishkek contributing to teacher training sessions for British undergraduate students (preparing them for month-long volunteering posts in children’s summer camps), and then travel to a more remote part of the country to provide training support and additional English lessons for local school teachers. The experience will provide a lot of firsts: first time in Central Asia, first time living somewhere with limited access to running water, and first time leading teacher training sessions by myself. I’m really looking forward to spending time in Kyrgyzstan and getting more hands-on experience in a low-resource classroom, although I know that I’ll have to put in a lot of work before the grand départ. Over the next few months I’ll be scouring the internet for low-resource classroom ideas to share with Kyrgyz teachers and local volunteers, and I’ll also start applying to publishing houses and local businesses for resources and funding support.
Closer to home, I’m also getting more involved with FELLOW this year. I stepped down as Project Coordinator in December 2014, but I’ve recently decided to take on some more responsibility and I will now be involved as Volunteer Coordinator. This means supporting our current volunteers and – as ever – recruiting new ones! As well as teaching evening classes occasionally, I will mentor our Oxford University student volunteers as they set up beginners’ English classes later this month. I love teaching at FELLOW (I clearly can’t keep away!), but one of the downsides is the lack of continuity between lessons – it’s possible to build a rapport with individual learners, but much harder to build a sense of class community. I am hopeful that taking part in beginner lessons will mean getting to know a group of learners on a more personal basis – something I have really missed since swapping full-time teaching for editing.
Then, of course, there’s this blog! I started blogging without a clear aim and, a couple of months down the line, I still don’t have one… I would like to become more involved in the online ELT community this year – and regular blog posts form an important part of that. Maybe I’ll get involved with an #ELTChat this year, too…
Finally, I thought I’d share a couple of my personal resolutions for 2016:
- Learn to code
- Start learning a fifth language
- Spend an entire year doing ‘ten per day’
Let’s see how I get on!
What are your personal and professional resolutions for this brand new year?