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Carry on Konya

KonyaThis summer I had the opportunity to  again go to Turkey as a freelance Teacher Trainer working on a CTS Primary course with SELT Academy. This year I was in Konya.

It was a fabulous 2 weeks with trainees from Algeria who both delighted and inspired me and fellow trainers from around the world that made me laugh daily. I wasn’t sure at first about leaving hubby and my now 2 yr old sausages behind for a second time, but I dragged along a friend I adore for the ride and away I went. What can I say, I’m sure glad I did 🙂

When I arrived in Konya I was greeted by a stinky cramped hotel room that backed onto a noisy alleyway and had electrical wires hanging out the bathroom wall. I really wasn’t feeling it. Homesickness and missing my tucking my little sausages into their beds wasn’t helping. I didn’t sleep a wink the first night in fear of bed bugs and electric shock and any other yucky thing my sleep deprived mind could conjure up.

How quickly things change though. A new hotel room, meeting my colleagues properly, seeing the school, meeting my trainees… Everything from that moment just kept getting better and better. I fell in love. Deeply in love. With my trainees. My colleagues. Konya. Turkey. It was a magical two weeks full of smiles and laughter. Not even the oven-like conditions in the air-con-less classrooms could dampen my happiness (well, maybe a little).

Whenever I think of my time in Konya, I smile.

My wonderful trainees made me smile. Especially their jazz hands and, well, total awesomeness.

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The best trainees in the world

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Everything is better with jazz hands

And who doesn’t love a trainee that brings the whole class ice-cream?

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Lovely Jesus saves us all. Hip Hip hooray for ice-cream on a hot day!

In fact, even though I was sad to say goodbye to my lovely Algerians, I’m so happy to have known them.

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A happy goodbye? We walked and we walked and we walked….all the way to lunch

My wonderful colleagues made me smile.

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The trainers and their pilot, Tarik.

My daily bus rides made me smile. And laugh. A lot!

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Benjicek-cek-cek ja jsem Benjomil…

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Everyone’s buddy. Buddy.

Actually, My colleagues didn’t just make me smile. They made me laugh out loud on a daily basis.

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Tuna comes from trees. Not inebriated donkeys.

My favourite…

Ben quote, “Is it under the table?”

Magdi quote, “No, it isn’t”

Anette quote, “Is it in the tree?”

Juan quote, “Tuna!!!”

So many things to make me laugh and smile. Hichem bringing me tea. Juan telling alphabet jokes…..

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My favourite cheeky monkey.

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The Pink Panther aka HJ

Sitting on a terrace late into the night with a cuddly frog called Buddy. So much to smile about!

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Buddy, Buddy, Buddy. No words!

Meeting and working with the lovely and talented  Juan Alberto Lopez Uribe, author and creator of popular TEYL blog Children Learning English Affectively, has inspired me to write more on this blog. There is a real blog post coming. I just need to put aside some time to write it. And my new ‘school’ year’s resolution is to post more frequently.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a way to get your young learners smiling and laughing, I highly recommend two of Juan’s blog posts inspired by our carry on in Konya….

Affective puns for young language learners and alphabet riddles for young learners

and while you are there, there are tonnes of other great posts on Juan’s juan in a melon blog (see what I did there, Juan?), like this fab one he posted today listing 50 ways to use flashcards affectively (and effectively!)

Thank you juanderful Juan for encouraging me to dip my toes back into the blogosphere. I promise to set aside some time for a real post real soon. Starting with one just for you.

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How many days have you wasted lately?

Until next time…..

Blogging

YL Teacher and Blogging virgin (Well, I was until I hit the ‘publish now’ button)

Everyone has a blog these days, especially if you’re a ‘serious’ teacher. Right?
It’s the beginning of the new school year here in Europe, so here we go. Pens, check. coursebooks, check. Twitter account, check. Bucketload of technology and dogme and whatever else the latest and greatest teaching tool is, check. Blog, check. Wait, what?
I’ve read a few and they’re very impressive. Some are about dogme. Others are about dogme. Some more are about dogme, and the rest are mostly about the latest and greatest technological advances in the teaching world complete with videos and what-have-you and other exciting gadgets I don’t know the name of. Don’t get me wrong, many of these blogs are great. I’ve really enjoyed reading most of them and have learnt a lot. Some bloggers are the first with all the news, some have fantastic ideas and some are such good writers you wonder what an earth they are doing teaching English. I really take my hat off to these bloggers. They are the bomb. But what about those retro teachers like me who are still playing past simple battleships on a bit of scrap paper and not ebeam spacemonkeys? Are we in danger? Will we be left behind? Do we need to blog, tweet, ‘Elluminate’ our lives in order to prove our worth?
Maybe, maybe not, but I don’t want to get left behind. I’d just rather walk at my own pace. So in the spirit of taking that first step, I recently gave in and decided to have the seasons must have accessory. A blog. And yes, yet another TEFL blog.
Unlike other bloggers out there, I’m not a writer, I’m not up with the latest and greatest and I don’t have any groundbreaking ideas. What o what to blog about? And while I’m at it, actually, I don’t even know how to blog or where to start! I was about ready to ditch my blog dream until last just week during induction, when I had an epiphany of sorts. I was eliciting from the new teachers that their greatest resource was each other. Each other! That was it!
Have you ever sat on a park bench watching people walk by and wondered who they were and where they were going? Or maybe you’ve heard the kids in the class next to yours perfectly quiet or very noisy and wondered what is going on? Well….here is my blog idea. I want to interview other YL teachers out there in the TEFL world and find out who they are and what they are doing. I want to ‘walk’ through the TEFL world and grab some bits and pieces of info at a leisurely pace. I want to ask ‘real’ teachers what they are ‘really’ doing in their classrooms. What goes well, what flops? What are their favourite resources, games, websites, blogs, and even technological gadgets!! Anything really. So here I go. I’m doing it. I’m blogging baby! I hope you will join me on my walk 🙂

Oh, and stay tuned for my first interview with uber experienced BE teacher, published author and YL newbie Anne Petzer.

Until next time…

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