A couple of years ago, I started a contract with a student, M, who was looking for English lessons for professional purposes. On her needs analysis interview, she told me that reaching out for help was quite a struggle as her former teacher had unceremoniously stopped replying to her messages halfway through a course that aimed to prepare her for an institutional language test - one of the most important steps she’d been taking in her career so far. To her words, they hadn’t had any kind of...

BY DONNA FIELDS We’re looking forward to sharing with you the most innovative practices - methods you can use immediately in your online or your face-to-face lessons. Unfortunately, most Ministers of Education today, are so concerned with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and having test scores, that they forget that, at the end of the day, if we don't have people with good character, people who do the right thing, intellect itself will destroy the world, it will not save it.  Dr. Howard Gardner Research Professor of Cognition and Education Harvard University Autumn, 2020 Student...

By Russell Stannard Flipping your online lessons:  a global view of your online lessons Over the last five months, I have done a whole array of consultancy jobs supporting schools to deliver online language courses. These have been private language schools right up to language departments in universities. It has been a very tough time for teachers and one thing that they are continually complaining about is just how much work is involved in preparing and delivering online lessons. It has been a theme I have addressed at several online...

By Donna Fields What is scaffolding? Why should we care? What are they exactly, and where do we upload scaffolding activities on the Richmond Platform? Let’s start with theory. Take a deep breath because this won’t be painful at all. There are as many definitions of scaffolding as there are scaffolding techniques. The term, as an educational concept, was presented in the early 1900s by LevVygotsky, the Russian psychologist who dedicated himself to the study of adolescent development. He explained that scaffolding is a way of encouraging students to move out of...

As you will probably agree, inspiration comes from the most unusual places. Just now, I felt so moved by a Netflix documentary about the jazz genius Miles Davis that I had to come here and write about the lessons I believe his career may bring to our professional development as teachers.   “The Musings of Miles”: Don’t “blow” theory. Miles started his career as a trumpeter in his teens and went to Juilliard, one of the world’s most prestigious performance art schools. Despite criticizing it for being “too white”...

You may have been flooded by positive messages on social media talking about how this pandemic is an opportunity to develop new projects, learn a new language, exercise more and drink two liters of water. This kind of toxic positivity is certainly not what teachers need. If you are looking for a flower power kind of vibe, this article is probably not for you. I think the pandemic sucks. I am truly sorry for my lack of reassuring demeanor in a time of need. The thing is, I am...

As I was relaxing after a long productive day working from home for the 5th day in a row, for the 1st time in my life, I came across a Simon Sinek’s short video where he explained why ‘These Are Not Unprecedented Times’. Most of us are feeling as if we were living in a parallel dimension, as if life as we used to live was put on hold and we are somehow experiencing a different setting – perhaps to find out what we are made of… Anyways, he...

In 2019 we had the opportunity to work together on different projects. Such projects involved writing for the Richmond blog, going live on different social media websites and delivering an online course for teachers. We’d like to start by commenting on the online course experience. Needless to say how this course enriched us. While organizing the contents we decided to include in the course, we studied a lot more about so many relevant issues that are undoubtedly pertinent to our daily work. In this sense, the need to research...

As 2020 begins, teachers all around the world get ready to receive their students for a new term, and I am no different.. As I write, I am enjoying my last days of the summer break, and yet I am already mentally planning how I can make my school year the best one again. That means deciding which practices I would like to include in my professional routine, and which ones I should adapt or eliminate from my daily lesson planning. Then, at the beginning of January, I decided...