“Dear teacher, I’d like to say I have never forgotten your lessons and I’m grateful you have inspired me to follow this path.” This is part of a message I received last month. It is from a student I had over 20 years ago and who is now a successful teacher of English. I still remember her in my lessons, her brilliant compositions and perfect handwriting. She was a quiet student who I have never forgotten and reading her message made my eyes well up. Many of us have received these...

I was talking to some friends on Whatsapp and one of them mentioned this teacher he knew and the fact that they had been contemplating a career change. The teacher had a CPE and a CELTA and I said it would be a shame if they gave up on teaching. After all, such qualifications are not easy to get, both demand a considerable amount of time, effort and money. Then my friend said: 'but they don’t have our passion'. I must say his remark puzzled me. What is...

There is a fine line between being friends and treating colleagues with professionalism. Especially when points of view differ. The ELT world is full of active communities and groups who meet at conferences or even for a ‘night out’ in order to share ideas in a more relaxed way. And one of the things I love the most is that surely when we are together, we are stronger. To begin with, we make our living by sharing our knowledge with our students and sometimes, we even share pieces...

It has been quite a while since I last wrote here, but it doesn`t mean that I haven`t been doing any thinking about current issues involving teachers, especially what is going on in the private ESL market. Therefore, in this month’s post, I briefly discuss how private organizations may impact our beliefs about what we do and how these ideas may be deconstructed. As I write these lines, many schools and English language institutes in Brazil are being taken over and are being ‘reformatted’ by other companies, a.k.a. holdings,...

It is generally known that learning your ropes is a key factor in developing your personal, academic and professional life. It is true that one always encounters a very competitive world, yet it is also true that facing this world with solid training is a way to allay their fears. According to FDR, ‘A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor’ – this saying is absolutely applicable to an educator’s career on the grounds that having the reading literature itself will not provide the real electro-cardiogram of teaching, in...

Two weeks ago, at the Independence Day holiday, I had the pleasure of moderating a BrELT Chat with one of the sweetest people you will ever meet at the BrELT on the Road 2018: Veruska Gallo. Our discussion was focused on bringing professional development to the school we work for. DISCLAIMER: this is not a summary of what happened, but an overview of my rushing thoughts during the session. We kicked off the discussion by asking what the CPD initiatives their school offered were. Silence. A disturbing and suffocating silence...

Many teachers are becoming their own bosses nowadays, to the point that the word “teacherpreneur” has become a thing (hopefully a fad, as I can’t pronounce that word for the life of me). That of course adds fuel to the debate on whether teachers should dab at Sales & Marketing – or rather how. I’m largely a bystander in the debate, since I work for the government, but something happened last week that made me think about how we teachers sell our services and I just wanted to...

As an EFL teacher, you must have already realised that the roles we play are as volatile as this ever-evolving world we live in. Let’s start by focusing on some of the changes our role has been through in the classroom: We are not the source of all wisdom and power anymore (if we have ever been), as students have their devices (smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, etc) right there and then to investigate if what was said is the absolute truth. However, we are still a source of guidance. We...

Scene 1: Big conference in Brazil. The speaker, a Brazilian, goes onto the stage to begin her plenary session. While she speaks, you notice she makes some mistakes, pronunciation mistakes, grammar mistakes, but the content of her presentation is relevant and she manages to get her message across. At the end of her talk, you hear teachers, the vast majority of them Brazilians, commenting on the mistakes and criticising the presenter. Scene 2: Same big conference. The presenter on the stage is not a native speaker of English, and...

There are many English language teaching professionals working under this umbrella term in specific areas such as English as a foreign language or English in the public sector. The diversity of smaller groups may be  a great opportunity for professionals aiming at increasing their repertoire of experiences as they have the chance to discuss the different contexts in online groups, courses or large events, such as the BRAZ-TESOL International Conference. One of the common complaints among teachers in our field is the fact that we are not often respected...