Blog Post

Merry Christmas Wishes to my PLN!

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…. and thank you notes to all those who affected my professional life in the past year

This has been an amazing year for this blog and this member of a strong and ever-widening PLN. My Christmas stocking is filled already with the gift of friendship of an amazing group of colleagues from the four corners of the globe but who I talk to every day!

Esra Girgin Akiskali, Amanda Wilson, Shelly Terrell, myself, Petra Pointner, Ozge Karaoglu & Vicky Saumel - photo from IATEFL Harrogate 2010

Esra Girgin Akiskali, Amanda Wilson, Shelly Terrell, myself, Petra Pointner, Ozge Karaoglu & Vicky Saumel at IATEFL Harrogate 2010

See what I mean? And these are just some of the people I have come to value and count as part of my daily professional life.

Here are my New Year’s Resolutions as stated in last year’s post;  in a word (cloud), ….

worlde

Made with wordle.net

Here is what I said and what happened (in a table; it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a table, would it now… 🙂 )

My 2010 Resolutions
Migration from DELTA website to a new DELTA wiki Mission accomplished! And three more wikis created in same year for our CELTA trainees, for our English language learners, for our Translation trainees… I have also been working on a wiki to help teachers’ associations use more technology, which I hope to be able to show on Associates day at IATEFL Brighton in 2011.
Find time to write my own materials Sad to say, didn’t even look for that kind of time!
Organize my centre more efficiently so I don’t have to be there all the time Mission more or less accomplished! I don’t actually have to be there, but it looks as if I am working all the time – that is something that still needs fixing.
Attend more conferences in person This was a good year – I attended and presented at our own local conference, TESOL Greece, then went to Istanbul to attend and present at ISTEK  Schools Conference. This was topped off with my first time at IATEFL International at Harrogate where I presented – both Istanbul and Harrogate were great occasions for meeting many friends who – so far – had only been Twitter friends!
Integrate technology into my teacher training courses It’s happening, but taking a lot more time than I thought it would, especially with younger trainees, the so-called digital natives (in the Prenskyan sense of the word). Some of them have proved to be less native than expected with much more resistance to innovation and change; this is, in fact, one of the topics I am going to be talking about at IATEFL Brighton in 2011
Teach in Second Life Am now officially a resident with my own plot where I can run courses – have presented in Second life and am, hopefully, also going to be involved in the TESOL EVO course for Teaching in Virtual Worlds.
Online presentation skills Somewhat improved: I had the opportunity to present a few times online, as you see on my Presentations page – even in Second Life, which is a different set up completely and where my presentation skills were, more recently, put to the test.
Watercolour paintings or music composed? ? Not a single watercolour created; I listened to a lot of music but not a single tune or even  short jingle were created this past year. Bad year for the arts!
Writing blog posts more frequently. Unfortunately, I have not turned out to be a prolific blogger, like some of the friends I admire who churn them out at the drop of a link! But I am very happy to have had two articles accepted by two major publications. One was co-authored with Sara Hannam and will be appearing in a special manual to be published by IATEFL (”  Running an Association for Language Teachers”) and the other one will be published in a special edition of the  International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT).

There are many other special moments I want to thank my PLN for:

Presenting online –  I want to send special thanks to Shelly Terrell who is responsible for so much of my online involvement and who keeps inviting me to these amazing online events! I had the pleasure of meeting Shelly in person at ISTEK and Harrogate but was also fortunate to have her as my CELTA trainee this past August – she is one amazing bundle of energy and joy to the people around her but having watched her closely for the four weeks of the course, I have to let you in on the secret: she is a very very very very very hard worker – her success is the result of many hours of dedicated work and I wish her every success and joy in her personal and professional life.  Thank you so much Shelly and thank you for your gift of friendship.

Meeting my Twitter PLN – Special thanks to Burcu Akyol for inviting me to ISTEK Schools Conference and giving me the first and very memorable opportunity to meet my Twitter PLN in person – and to watch her in action! She is one phenomenal organizer!

Participating in an EU project – Special thanks to Shelly Terrell for suggesting my institution and Joel Josephson for including me in – soon (in early January) I shall be meeting with all the partners in Barcelona.

Getting involved in learning and writing about technology and pedagogy – special thanks to some of the great educators in my PLN, Nik Peachey first of all and his great tweets and blog posts here and here – more special thanks to Nik for his very great kindness in including me (!!! I still feel total astonishment at this – so do quite a few others, I believe 😉 )  in this very special post with the wow title: Let us now praise famous women That felt so fabulous – thanks, Nik!

Many thanks also to Graham Stanley for encouraging me and supporting me in writing an article for the International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT).  Since my M.A. I hadn’t really done academic writing of this sort and writing for a refereed journal was a new and extremely valuable experience!

Being invited to work on the TESOL EVO (more on this soon) – my special thanks must go to Heike Philps, a very special person, who insists that I can do it! Well, what else can I do but try? More special thanks to Heike for inviting me to both recent Virtual Round Table Conferences  first and second as well as to be a panel member for the opening plenary at the Slanguages 2010 conference – Heike is now my neighbour in Second Life and I am hopeful we will be doing more together soon!

Jeremy Harmer, Shelly Terrell, Carol Rainbow, myself and Tamas Lorincz at IATEFL Harrogate 2010

Jeremy Harmer, Shelly Terrell, Carol Rainbow, myself & Tamas Lorincz at IATEFL Harrogate 2010

But my thanks must go to one more special friend, Carol Rainbow, my Second Life dear friend who drove all the way to Harrogate to see us for one day! She is so special, especially because in this world of blowing one’s own trumpet she remains one of the most (unjustifiably) modest people I know.

Thanks to her and all the members of my PLN, this has been a most amazing year for me and for this blog.  There are so many, I can’t even begin to think how each one has sent me an idea, inspired by a tweet or a link.

My very special Christmas Season wishes must go to all my trainees in the past year (and years before!). Although they don’t perhaps realize it, they are also a very important part of my PLN. They learn from me but I learn from them, with them and for them all the time!

Last but not least, I must mention the joy of moderating #ELTchat every Wednesday. I will be writing a separate blog post about it but the conversations with all those members of my PLN who have joined in the online discussions and those who have agreed to be interviewed, Jeremy Harmer (UK) , Janet Bianchini (UK living in Italy), Graham Stanley (UK living in Spain), Beya Yilmaz (Turkey), Simon Greenall (UK) and Vicky Loras (Greek-Canadian living in Switzerland) – thank you all for connecting with us on #ELTchat.

Thank you all for visiting and reading these lines which means my voice is heard and ideas spread. And if they are worth spreading, they will stay with some of you long enough to create some small inspiration and a desire for change.

Happy Christmas Wishes and all the Best for 2011

Related Blog Post

Bridget Jones and my New Year’s Resolutions – 2009

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26 replies »

  1. What a great year! Thank you for your constant presence & guidance on twitter, and for inspiring us to grow as professionals. My New Year’s resolution is to make sure I meet you face to face to give you a big hug.

    Love,
    Ax

    • It was, wasn’t it! It was a hard year as well in many ways but this is a note of joy and thanks to the wonderful people I have met – and you are one of them, dear Anna, my #nightshift DJ, and meeting you is one of my goals as well!

      Oh, there will be hugs! 🙂

      Have a wonderful time and a wonderful year personally and professionally, dearest Anna.

      Marisa

  2. What a fabulous year it has been for you, Marisa!! 2011 is going to be full of even more fantastic projects and I wish you all the very best.

    Being interviewed in the ELTChat podcast was one of the highlights for me this year all thanks to you,for suggesting it.

    I can’t wait to meet you in person in Brighton in April!!

    Hugs

    Janet

    • Thanks ever so much for your lovely comment, Janet, and for that great interview with the nice background crackling noise of the logs in the fireplace!

      I so look forward to that conference too! It will be a great meeting of friends!

      Have a fabulous year, Janet!

      Marisa

  3. Marisa, you’re a force of nature in ELT, dynamic, so hard-working and with infectious enthusiasm. Thank you for inspiring us all, and especially for making me engage on a daily basis with our profession, rather than just at conference time. I’m awe-struck.
    Happy 2011

    Simon

    • Dear Simon,

      You are too kind – as ever! Thank you for being there and thank you for getting up at crack of dawn to be there for my presentation at TESOL France with your lovely wife, who, incidentally, gave me the shock of my life when I mentioned Alan Cunningswoth’s major oeuvre and she chirped sweetly that she was the editor of that book!!!

      I love you being in my PLN and hope to see you soon!

      Marisa

  4. Marissa mu!

    You have done so many important things in only 12 months …something to congratulate you! You forgot to say that you are also a very very very very hardworking educator and an ethusiastic learner! You deserve every success Marissa mu!

    I am very happy to have you in my PLN and having met you in person.

    Thank you very much for your valuable sharing and very precious friendship…

    Filakia polla polla ke oti epithimis Marissa mu.
    Evridiki

    • Geia sou Evridiki mouuu !

      I love the Greeklish we both produce on Facebook and on Twitter!

      Thank you for popping by and leaving such a wonderful comment. I am blessed with a great PLN and thank you for being part of it.

      Marisa

  5. Dear Marisa,

    wishing you all the best for a fabulous and rewarding New Year. I hope that 2011’s resolutions table will have ticks throughout! 😉
    Thank you for opening a whole new world for me after my CELTA.
    All the best,
    Dina
    P.S. I didn’t know you compose music. I only know you have an amazing voice. Do surprise us with a piece of your own alongside a blogpost someday! 😉

    • Dear Dina,

      Happy you have joined the ranks of this PLN…

      Thanks for your great comment but, you know, you did it all by yourself. Didn’t I offer the same opportunity to all in your group? It’s not as if this was a private and exclusive offer!

      It’s great to see you come into your own – keep it up and share it, it all comes back.

      Now about that music… Must find a good app that I can manage – haven’t found any easy music making apps so far (well, for me, anyway)

      See you soon – online or offline!

      Marisa

  6. Marisa,

    You have certainly had a busy year in 2010 – I think if I achieve half of what you did myself in 2011, it will be a lot! Above all else, this shows what a wonderful member of the online ELT PLN.

    I’m really glad I got to meet you at TESOL France and look forward to the next time, which may involve coming to see you do your thing at IATEFL =)

    All the best for 2011

    Mike

    • Hi Mike!

      Thanks! I always feel I have achieved much less than what I really wish I had but tend to forget I am no wonder woman!

      I certainly hope Brighton will give me to opportunity to see you again – the good thing about IATEFL is it lasts longer and there is more time for PLN meet ups 🙂

      I loved your video message and thanks for including me in there too

      Have a fantastic year, Mike, and thanks for visiting my blog!

      Marisa

  7. Hi Marisa,

    Wow! You sure had a pretty busy yearm, and as far as I can see you’ve accomplished plenty of your resolutions for 2010. I haven’t made new year’s resolutions for a while now, but you’ve inspired me. The sense of accomplishment of doing what you did, writing things down on paper at the end of the year and seeing all you’ve done must be great – and a nice reflection on if new priorities need to be set, if time has to be managed better.

    Connecting, sharing and learning with you has been a definite plus in my year 🙂

    Hope your 2011 is even better and more fullfilling then 2010 was. Looking forward to meeting you in Brighton!

    Cecilia

  8. Dear Marisa!

    Lovely to see a blog spreading joy!

    Congratulations on sharing so much knowledge,too!It’s now evident that the CELTA course was a mere beginning in how much there is to enjoy learning and meeting valuable people. I’m hoping to make it to Brighton to see you once again and meet others F2F.

    May 2011 be yet another year filled with success and enjoyment!
    Julie

    • Dear Julie,

      It’s great to see you getting more and more involved, in fact, you have successfully managed to join my “Usual Suspects” list!

      It was a mere beginning – although the Certificate itself doesn’t mention this! 🙂

      Wishing you all the best for 2011 and really looking forward to seeing you at Brighton where you will have the chance to connect with an amazing group of people!

      Marisa

  9. Hi Marisa,

    Happy new year, my dearest, lifelong inspiring tutor. You have been such an everlasting sparkling landmark in my career since I met you first time. Your relentless enthusiasm and dedication to TEFL has been a source of inspiration to whoever is lucky enough to get to know you.
    Thanks again and wish you all the best

    Your humble trainee
    Ayman

    • Dear Ayman,

      Wonderful to see you here and read your sweet comments, music to a tutor’s ears… 🙂

      Happy New Year to you and your family and may your wishes come true in 2011.

      I look forward to connecting with you again and who knows, maybe reading your blog, should you decide to start one? What do you think?

      Marisa

  10. Hi Marisa,

    The Pleasure is mine that we could communicate through your great blog. And , yeah.. why not? I’ll consider starting my own blog and try my best to follow my sweet tutor’s path.By the way, wanna tell you that I’ve already started my Master’s in ELT and Applied Linguistics. Am busy up my to ears; work, study and family. Should I need some guidance at times, could I ask for it?
    Cheers,
    Ayman

  11. What can I girl say after all these comments…
    Thank you for being in my life and inspiring me and others who I introduce to you to keep on searching and developing. As one of your long-term trainees, I’m not sure what you learn from me?? Patience perhaps …always a good quality in any teacher!
    Good luck for all your adventures in 2011!
    Shaz xx

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