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As many teachers get ready to start a new professional year, I believe we tend to let anxiety take the best of us. According to the site “How Stuff Works”, teaching is the fourth most stressful job, since we “have to be well-prepared every day”, we take a lot of work home, and have to deal with both students and sometimes parents. It is a lot of work indeed, which may leave us questioning our career choice, or our hopes and dreams for the future. Since I truly believe...

As a musician myself, I have always loved working with songs in my English classes. And a lot of teachers I know also love doing so. But we usually use the entire song and its lyrics, and this can be a problem in early levels, as we will rarely be able to find a song whose lyrics completely match the vocabulary and knowledge of early levels’ students. So, how can we use songs without the frustration of having to explain things that are far too advanced (or inappropriate) to...

This is a fairly broad topic with a myriad of issues, such as the observer and observee’s attitudes towards having his/her lessons assessed. There is also the matter of how many times a teacher should be observed in a term, and when (before/after tests, two weeks after the first lesson, etc), having in mind the assessment factor. Attitude The attitude changes according to the observation purposes: development, (quick) problem-solving, assessment, etc. When a teacher is being observed for developmental reasons, usually he or she tends to be more open...

Those who know me, even if they know me just a little, are aware of how passionate I am about inclusivity and students with special educational needs. However, that is not what I am here to talk about today. I want to share what I have found this year. Not even in my wildest dreams, I would have imagined a year such as 2018. The objectives I had established back at the end of 2017 were way too bold, pretentious I would say and everything I have accomplished...

If you have been teaching teens for the past years you have probably noticed how attached they are to their mobiles or tablets. To say that they love technology is an understatement. Playing video games, watching TV series and films or listening to music are some of the usual activities they perform in their free time and they all involve technology. But technology is not the only thing they are interested in. Take, for instance, teenagers who practise sports or even go to a dance school. Would it not...

Just take a quick stroll around the town where you live. How many "bilingual education" ads do you find? From small towns in remote areas to big metropolis, it does seem that a huge number of schools have gone bilingual. But are they all the same? Do they have the same reasons for doing so? First and foremost, it is far-fetched to believe that they are all the same. There is this thing called "school culture" that should be enough in itself to tell everyone that no bilingual school...

This post is specially dedicated to Roberta Caiado, Dóris Arruda C. Cunha and Karl H. Efken, three of my professors who have enlightened me with their thoughts, ethics, perseverance and wisdom and have helped me change my personal and professional life for better. Before writing this post, I was revisiting another one I wrote  (a long time ago) about “Reflective Practice” which, for me has to do with a way of internally reflect and study your own experiences to improve the way you work. The act of reflection is...

Have you ever heard of the Impostor Syndrome? Well, according to the site “Medical News Today”, “research from 2011 suggests that approximately 70% of people will experience at least one episode of Impostor Syndrome in their lives. It may be especially prevalent among women considered to be high-achievers”. The site Scientific American claims that people who suffer from this silent affliction have a “pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary”.   People from all walks of life have already stated they suffer...

When professionals I know and admire seem to have something against English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), I try to understand why. From their follow-up replies, I get the impression they see ELF as “narrowing the curriculum” and their own position as one of “demanding high” and “catering for students’ needs in the real world.” I think I get it. The problem is, however, I am too in favor of “catering for students’ needs in the real world” and to an extent even “demanding high”, but that’s precisely why...

Had you been asked to divide your life into sub-categories, how many (and what) would there have been? Exactly. This how a teacher’s mind is all the time. Especially when in a classroom, while teaching. During a lesson we are always concerned with our student’s mental processes  - if they are processing the information being given, if they are accepting it, if they are following the steps, if they are acquiring language or skills, if they are overwhelmed, if their affective filters are high or low, etc. At...