I have been so busy reading and commenting on posts on different ELT sites I have recently joined that I seem to have abandoned my own blog! And the only reason I was admitted to Bloggers in ELT, Freelance is because I have a blog, so I guess not updating my own blog due to spending too much time there kind of defeats the object.
So, I've been wandering around the Beltfree site, trying to figure out if I have to upload my blog entries, or copy and paste them, or write different ones just for that site... but I haven't been very successful. I've spent at least 45 minutes sending friend requests and getting sidetracked by some rather interesting comments (a bit of a soap opera melodrama between two feuding members!) and haven't actually found out what you are supposed to do on the site. Maybe I should just look for a "I'm new and I'm lost" section, which is the kind of place I usually avoid.
I've also been busy on ELTCommunity, which is run by a well-known publisher (don't want to do any free advertsing!) where I've been drawn into the addictive points system they have. This is surely the downfall of heavily competitive people like myself. I only joined last week but I'm trying my best to get from "newbie" to "novice", by answering questions in the forums and taking part in polls (unfortunately, I discovered after about 15 polls that this doesn't give you points!).
While I think all these sites and social networks are a really good idea for teachers and writers to share ideas and have interesting discussions, I'm not entirely convinced that I am not wasting a lot of my free time on them. And not just my free-time, since I've really got into this whole world of PLNs, Twitter and Google Reader lists, I think I have actually spent less time planning my lessons! One day I was so engrossed that suddenly it was lunchtime and I hadn't even decided what I was going to do that afternoon in class. Luckily, this isn't a major disaster for me, being able to pull tricks out of my hat and improvise when necessary. That lesson even worked out really well because I took the children on an imaginary trip to the past using a visualisation that required very little preparation.
I would just like to ask anyone who reads this blog, how do you find the time to keep up a blog (and some people even have more than one!), read other blogs, tweet, belong to other social networks, plan lessons and actually teach all at the same time?? Is it possible to do all this and have a private life?
By the way, if anybody can help me on the beltfree question I'd be grateful as I don't want to sound stupid on the site itself! Thanks.