Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Hoping and wishing that this new year will bring the best in every aspect. Full of energy and enthusiasm to start  new projects.
My regards to every teacher and student.
Happy New Year!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

I want to send a great greeting in this special season to everyone who is one of my followers and to everyone who is always coming and checking this blog. Thanks for the support and all the comments you have left.
I hope that this special day you can share it with the loved ones, with your families, and that the birth of Jesus will fulfill all your wishes and hopes.
Merry Christmas to all of you!!!!

Teacher Julian VM

Monday, 19 December 2011

Keep your files safe with Dropbox

I will be talking in advance, because I have heard about this page long ago, but just until today I have started using it.
Dropbox is a program that you download and it allows to upload your files to internet, so you keep them safe. Probably, until here, nothing new to you. But the good thing of dropbox, that every time you update any file you are uploading to internet (by the way, you just drag and leave the files you want to upload in a folder in your computer. So easy!), your file will be updated on internet, so you can open your file in any computer or cellphone, and you will see the change.
Initially, you have 2 GB, but you earn 250 MB everytime you invite other person and that person accepts to try dropbox.
Honestly, it sounds interesting to me, to keep all my files of my school. But I have to use it and then I can talk based on my experience.
Probably you know this page, or you are already using it and you have your own opinion about it. Or maybe, you know other similar program. If that is the case, I am all ears.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas Idea coming from Philippines

Filipinos have a very beautiful custom for Christmas: creating a ParolSomething I want to do by myself too. But, ¿what is it a parol? Check it on these videos, and I think, it is a good a idea to do with your students.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

How to start a new year well prepared

I know the new year is still away (not so much though), but before starting a new year of classes, it is good to take into account the following points:

  1. First of all, remember the previous year. It is not just a "gone year". You have to consider the good and bad experiencies you had. Learn from the good ones, and improve them. Learn from the bad ones, just don't repeat them. (Every year is a new one, but always take your last year as your starting point)
  2. Plan ahead. Prepare a good lesson plan for next year. You already have a lot of time in your vacation to give at least one week to prepare all you need. I know... it sounds boring working on your vacation. But, that week you will work, it is an investment for the whole year.
  3. Not just plan your lessons or contents. Also plan for every possible situation that can happen. What if there is one student who can't come to your test. What if you can't be at the school because you are the one sick, do you have a backup strategy?  Just be prepare for all you can encounter during the year, and that you already faced last year.
  4. Have realistic goals. Don't imagine the perfect year, with perfect students. Just be realistic to know that the year won't be perfect, and that there will be student who will need more of your support. But being realistic doesn't mean that you won't plan some new or innovative this new year. Plan at least 2 great ideas to impress anyone next year.
  5. Don't be old fashion. Be ready to change and adjust according to the new characteristics. You have a plan already, ok. But be prepared to fix it, in case you have to fix it.
  6. You have goals, now create goals with your students. Don't let them out of great projects. Ask them what they want for the new year, and create things together. There is nothing more interesting and inspiring than when you are told to be part of that.
  7. Don't forget to study. We are teachers, but it doesn't mean we know all already. Prepare yourself, learn more, study more, create new links or friends. Use technologies to learn from other teachers. Using this blog has been so much helpful for me in order to know other teachers' experiences.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The year ended for me. Time to evaluate

The class has ended for me. The year of working, preparing material, checking works ... well, it ended. The students have vacation, last wednesday was the graduation. And that's it. A year was gone by the wind again. And we don't see how time is so fast. But never so fast to evaluate the whole process.
And I want to do this, to share with you my successes and failures, so you comment, and help me to improve as well.

Let's start with the good things.
  • I had my own classroom
  • I could buy my long-waited projector
  • I got a better mark from my students
  • I applied for a project to get my own small library, and I won.
  • I was awarded for my creativity and innovation
  • I finished two e-learning courses, and two e-workshops, with good marks
  • The students were motivated to work this year
But there are still bad things:
  • I still have problems with classroom managment
  • I still have problems with group works
  • I have been disconnected from my students, at a personal level
  • I still have to work harder on speaking skills
A new year will come, and I hope to get more good news, and less bad news.

Friday, 9 December 2011

The innocence can be so powerful

We think, that just because we are adults, and we have a lot of experience, our views, ideas, or opinions are the only truth, and we don't hear what the children have to say. Their innocence seems to be so silly and weak, but they have the pure wisdom, they don't worry about things, they don't think about things so much, they just do the right things. I say this, because I remember two excellent indian commercials I have seen time ago. I would like to share with you these commercials, and then think what children have to say about solidarity, and how we must work as a real team.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

why to publish a book?

I don't want to talk about "how" to publish a book, because I am still finding information about it, but I would like to talk about "why", which is more important.
Personally, I would like to write a book and I have some ideas, but the question about "why" taking so much effort on a book, when you can find millions of books in bookstores. Well, I will give you some hints.
  • As the saying goes "Write a book. Plant a tree. Have a son."  Well, we have to start with one of them. What I mean to say, we are just passing by in this planet. So we have to leave something for the rest, for the future generations. Doing a book is one way.
  • Through writing a book, we can express what we have inside, the way we see life. It is a great chance to show the world who we are.
  • As teachers, it is a "Must" to have a book. We are creative people, and we must share that with others.
  • The topic, you choose it. It can be about being a teacher, you subject, ideas, experiences, creative things, tales, a novel. It is your choice, but always give a personal touch, because outside, there are hundreds of books like yours already.
  • You are inspiring others, you are inspiring your students. Your students don't want to read? Well, do something, but do it your own. Don't just say "read shakespeare", say "Read My book".
Don't waste your ideas, and be someone who will go beyond borders with your words and thoughts. If you have the chance to write a book, do it.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Is it so hard to learn English?

This is a tricky question, because it can be both, easy and hard. And it will depend on where in the world we are. But let's imagine we are in the furthest country in the world: Chile. And you are surrounded by an ocean or mountains, and the only way to have contact with the English language is by travelling thousands of kilometres.
Is it hard to learn English? In these conditions, yes, so much. How on earth we can learn something that we don't know, we don't see, we can't even practice?
But as I already said, it is a tricky question, because the answer I can give is: "Learning English is very easy", but you have to consider the following aspects:
  1. You must be willing to learn something new, you must be sure that learning English is what you want, not just because it is a trend, but because you really see the potential of learning a new language.
  2. You must consider the time. It needs time to learn something new, and considering that English is a whole new language, it will need a long time. But based on my own experience, I can say that it will take one or two years to learn the basics in a good way.
  3. You must consider the support you will need. Internet is full of pages to learn English, hundreds of courses, but so what. Most of them are boring, and even in real life, going to classes, is boring. And you know why? Because the way the present or help you to learn the language is really useless. You must know what you want to get from learning English, then you will know which is the best course you can take.
  4. Forget what other people think about you. It is true that nowadays, many people are trying to learn English, but there are still a lot of people that will think it is silly, and they will make fun of you if you are practising pronunciation aloud. Forget them, it is your life, your future, and just you know what you want from English.
  5. Take English as a tool, not as a goal. I have seen a lot of people trying to learn English, just to know a new language, and then what? Nothing, because they never consider the reason of learning English.
Life is not easy, but you choose what paths to take, and if learning English is a great tool for you, then learn it.
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