This is my second blog post. I’m still new to this world of blogging and reblogging but I’ve enjoyed the ride so far. Just a few years ago (or even months!) I never would’ve guessed that I’d be posting on my own blog. But here I am, blogging, tweeting and attending online sessions. So how did I get here?
I’d have to say that it all started during an EVO course in 2006 (correct me if I have the year wrong, Mike). I had never attended an online course. The DoS at work mentioned it so I thought I’d check it out. I’m so glad I did. I enjoyed the course and walked away with lots of ideas for my Young Learners’ classes, but I also made a connection with a fellow attendee named Mike Griffin. This connection would later be an invaluable part of and probably the beginning of my Personal Learning Network.
Mike and I kept in touch through email and later Facebook. We had never met face-to-face but we discovered that we shared quite a bit of cultural background, political views, sense of humor, etc. About a year and a half ago Mike started to suggest I use twitter. I was reluctant at first but he’s a really good nudger and in February of 2013 I started tweeting.
Twitter opened up a whole new world to me. It was overwhelming at first and I’m still getting the hang of it, but it helped me feel connected in a way that I didn’t think was possible. It was through Twitter that my PLN started to take shape. Before long I came across #eltchat, through which I started connecting with ELT teachers around the globe. It was all so new and exciting to me.
Blogging has been on my mind for a few months now. I began asking myself questions like: Should I blog? If so, why? For what purpose? And that’s when I came across the #springblogfestival.
Spring Blog Festival is three days of motivating, informative and fun sessions. I was sick with a cold that weekend but I dragged myself out of bed so I could attend. There were a lot of inspiring moments during those sessions but there are a few that stand out for me.
First of all, Shelly Terrell is one of the organizers behind the #springblogfestival. Her passion for teaching and using technology is contagious. There were also words of encouragement and advice from lots of people in the ELT world: Marisa Constantinides, Barbara Sakamoto, Luke Meddings, Jeremy Harmer, Fabiana Casella and many more. Adam Beale suggested not to rush into blogging, do your research and take your time choosing a platform that suits you. My head was buzzing with so much information but the best part was that cozy feeling of being connected with and supported by other professionals in my field. I was hooked! On Sunday morning I was so excited about blogging that I wrote my first post (The Importance of Circle Time).
It took me around eight years but I made it from being an EVO attendee to an EFL blogger. Through Twitter, #eltchat, online courses and now my blog, my PLN continues to grow and blossom. I wonder what the next eight years will hold.
Here’s a list of blogs to check out and follow:
Michael Griffin ELT Rants, Reviews and Reflections
Marisa Constantinides TEFL Matters
Barbara Sakamoto Teaching Village
Luke Meddings onefortywords
Fabiana Casella all4efl&elt
Adam Beale Five Against One
Thanks for reading and happy blogging!