Mess and order

The school year is over.
I haven’t written here for a long time.
This blog was meant to record my experience with social media in ELT. There are no records, there’s no experience.

The second part of the school year was characterised by a deep crash into reality.
First of all, a continuous succession of private non desirable affairs drove all my strength into my family life.
Second, I sort of surrendered to my school reality: no computers.

It was a difficult semester. My mind urged wandering. Reality urged being present.

In that messy state of affairs something was a great aid to stick to what should be done: the wiki.

(I should have started a wiki for family stuff, it might have helped)

The class wiki was the place to set my mind at ease. I usually hate planning; when I plan too much, I know I’m not at my best.

In this second semester I needed planning: I knew I was not at my best. The wiki supported this planning, helped me plunged into class reality. The wiki and google docs.

Photo credits:

Related post in Spanish here.


13 Comments to “Mess and order”

  1. Our personal lives remind us that we are human and have families first, and that teaching should come after that.
    I’m sorry to hear that you had a difficult semester. I’m glad that you were able to get through the tough times and that you see how different tools helped you to do that.
    You may not have been ‘at your best’, but I hope you recognize that your students are still very lucky to have you… I’m a hemisphere away and I know that:-)

  2. Do you know? something that helped me get in touch with a group which was very distant at the beginning of the year was facebook. I had been ignoring it since I opened the account, and finally got sort of hooked. They were a group which had the roles of teacher/students clearly limited. Facebook helped me get closer.
    Thanks for your words, Dave, something I’ve learnt this year is that virtuality doesn’t imply distance.

  3. I definitely agree with Dave that our families should come first — especially in difficult times.

    I love the photos, by the way. They make me think about how much of what we perceive depends on our perspective. That yard full of leaves, from a different vantage point, shows great order. That, too, takes me back to what Dave said: your students are very lucky to have you even when you aren’t “at your best”.

    I am glad to see you back on the blog, and I hope to read more here in the near future!

  4. Gabriella, you can take care of your students if you don’t take care of yourself and your family. I have to relearn that lesson all the time.

    As to your blog, I have always been impressed with your discussions of your students. It doesn’t matter how much you post.

    Wikis are cool, and I am glad you are using them. I agree they would be a great place to input information for your family. I like the Wikispaces feature that includes an rss and email notification as soon as the wiki changes.

    It seems that I was in the same place w/Facebook. I had an account, but I have only recently used it. I am so glad to see you on Facebook. I hadn’t seen you on the microblogging networks much, and I was hoping everything is OK.

    Whatever it takes: the family & school first, then the professional learning networks when you can. Glad to see you and read your blog post. BTW, love the picture.

    • Thanks, Sheryl, for dropping by and for your words.

      I also use Wikispaces, have tried others, but that’s the one I prefer: simple, clean.

      Yes, the pictures are nice, love to feel grass under my feet.

  5. Hi Gabriella,
    remember me? You visited my blog some time ago.

    Now I finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera since I liked One Hundred Years of Solitude and I reviewed it on my blog.

    Please come and tell me what you think!

  6. Hi Gabriela!
    This is Priscila…
    You know, this year I tried to know how far I could go with English…I studied hard and I passed my entrance exam to Lenguas Vivas.
    It was an English exam , and I finished in 4th place with 9.40.
    Thanks Gabriela because I learned a lot with you and I met a lot of people all over the world…
    Now English is part of my life , and I can share everything by the blog , because blogging is also part of my life.
    Thanks Gabriela and I will keep visiting your blog.

    • Hi Priscila, congratulations for passing your exam, 9.40 is an outstanding mark!
      Thanks a lot for your words. I’m happy both English and blogging are part of your life (just as they are part of mine as well). You didn’t learn a lot with me, I just showed you a possibility and you plunged into it. You learnt on your own and together with that beautiful community you built through blogging.
      Best of luck in your secondary school, I’m sure you’ll go on learning, at school and outside.
      Lots of kisses

  7. I have just started holidays so I will have more time to stay with the blog….
    Nice pictures 🙂

  8. Hello Gabriela,
    I’ve just taken a quick look at your blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I can relate to a lot of what you say. I was thinking that perhaps I should really reduce the amount of time I spend on facebook and you’ve made me reconsider.
    It can get a bit lonely in Japan because all your relationships tend to be work related. It’s amasing how that happens. Recently, I’ve realised that I don’t really have much in common with anyone here apart from teaching. Facebook has allowed me to get back in touch with people I grew up with. I share a great many interests with these people and very few of them are teachers.
    I think it’s really important to keep up with outside interests. It even helps with teaching. My students are very interested in my personal life. They’re often interested in parts of my personal life that I’d rather they not be so interested in. Sharing the music I enjoy and other interests satisfies their curiosity.
    One reason for having a blog is to do this. My blog is a place to share my students’ work and supplement the lessons, but it’s also a place were I can share a bit of me with them.

    • Hi Mick,
      I think it’s good students see us networking. Moreover, they remind me of the “think before you post” motto. I try to be careful with their privacy (in spite of their public status) and for instance I don’t look at their photos, except, of course, for the ones where they tag me. Maybe that’s because there are things I wouldn’t like to know.
      I think our sense of time/space is changing. You can get into contact with your old friends who live far away; or with me, whom you’ve just met and lives on the other side of the planet. This is surely changing our perception of reality. It’s great to be experiencing this change.
      By the way, I’ve bookmarked your post on global English I’m going to send the link to my students (now we are on holidays) so that they can show it to their new teacher next year.
      See you around

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