Anybody who knows me really, really well or looks at my social media knows that I am sociopathic/misanthropic. So, when Joanna Malefaki nominated me in this blog challenge, she probably didn’t realise most people would have thought twice about nominating me. However, my friend James, who often knows me better than I know myself says I am a contrarian. I love wrongfooting people and do so just for the sake of it, sometimes. He thinks. I think that just doing the same old thing is boring, therefore, I am going to jump into this blog challenge like a sausage jumping from frying pan to fire.
So, eleven things about me, followed by eleven questions from the nominating blogger, then I nominate 11 people and then ask 11 new questions.
11 things about me
1. I live in Kawasaki, a suburb of Tokyo or of Yokohama.
2. I am a member of Teachers as Workers Special Interest Group and you can be too.
3. I teach across more contexts than most people I know. I do Business English (which I’d argue is just English for the workplace in most cases), ESP (orthodontists who need to talk to patients and their guardians), English as a Foreign Language Communication as a school subject, university general EFL, English for standardised tests like IELTS and young learners.
4. I used to play guitar.
5. I used to write fiction but haven’t had time because…
6. I am studying an MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics at University of Portsmouth via Distance Learning.
7. I also have stopped running due to this. I regularly notched up over 200 km a month at my peak.
8. My favourite novel is Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland. People who are fond of lists would do well to read it.
9. I love Dogme and Task-Based Learning and use bits from lexical approaches and The Silent Way sometimes.
10. I sometimes shout in anger when I read.
11. I love Truffaut’s film Shoot the Piano Player. You should watch it too.
Joanna’s 11 questions
1. How do you spend your free time?
With my son, my wife and son or with a book. I don’t get much so savour it.
2. What’s your favourite song?
That’s like naming your favourite student. At the minute I would say it’s Stonemilker by Björk.
3. What’s your favourite food?
4. My guilty pleasure is…….. (fill in the sentence).
5. Share a picture. What is it of (inspired by Clare)?
It’s banana bread I made. When I get days off work I sometimes bake.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world to teach, where would you go and why?
Berlin, Rotterdam or Antwerp. I love techno. But really I know here is good no matter where else the grass is green.
7. What’s your top tip for new teachers?
Start listening for what your learners need. It’s more important than textbook pacing.
8. What’s your top tip for teachers who feel burnt out?
Talk to someone and take paid holidays if you have any. From burnout it’s just a short step to destructive behaviour like drinking too much or even just being really negative about yourself.
9. If I wasn’t an English teacher , I would be a/ an…….
unemployed? Working in PC World? I have no idea.
10. What’s the funniest thing that has happened during a lesson?
I have no idea. I’m more of a deadpan curmudgeon than a slapstick guy.
11. Describe a typical work day.
Get up early coffee train teach coffee train coffee teach coffee train go to bed.
This by no means should make you feel obliged to do this. There are only 24 hours in a day and many work-related hoops through which to jump. However, I’d be interested in the answers to the upcoming questions from these bloggers:
1. Why did you become a teacher?
2. Why are you still a teacher?
3. You have a magic wand. What would you change about the English language teaching profession?
4. No magic wands. What is one step that people could easily take to change the thing above?
5. Who was your first mentor when you started teaching? Tell us about your relationship and what you learned.
6. Who are your mentors now?
7. What’s overrated is an excuse for a gripe, and I’ve given two above already. What’s underrated in ELT?
8. What do you wish you had known about ELT when you started?
9. Loads of people see career progression as routes to ELT writing or teacher training. What else is there and what are you hoping to do in the future?
10. How many hours a week do you work outside your paid hours?
11. Who or what is the biggest influence on your teaching outside teaching?