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Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Goals for 2013

Reading iTDi's post by Barb Sakamoto on Facebook this morning has encouraged me to come up with a set of my own professional goals for 2013. Last week I wrote about getting students to make their own list of learning goals for the term along with how they planned to achieve them. Now it's my turn...

1) Blog more - I think 2010 was my most prolific blogging year and I have certainly let myself down by barely blogging in 2012. Despite promises to keep up this blog, I have not done so, and what is the point of having a blog if you don't write? I would like to write a post every week, although I will only write if I have something to say. After all, no-one really wants to read my ramblings!

2) Write a couple of articles - Again 2010 was my article year. I wrote two fairly major articles, one for HLT online magazine and the other for MET. Blogging is one thing, but I think sitting down and planning an article, and then writing helps develop useful skills that otherwise are lost. I have not written an academic essay for several years and articles, like essays, require a good deal of planning and organization of ideas. It is also a great way of practising written English - I may be a native speaker, but having fluency in writing is something that I think most of us need to work on!

3) Improve my public speaking skills - I will be giving a workshop at TESOL Spain in March and hope to improve on previous workshops I have given. I gave a workshop on the same topic towards the end of last year, but I would like to greatly improve the presentation of my ideas and the flow of the talk. In previous workshops I have either a) used index cards with the main points and key words that I wanted to use, almost memorising the words from a written text I had prepared or b) got a bit lost with my index cards and done the rest of the talk ad lib. I would like to create a kind of mixture of the two - sounding natural and as if I know what I'm talking about, without having to refer so much to written cues. I am not sure I am going to be able to achieve this objective, as I get very nervous before a workshop, and lack confidence in my subject matter.

4) Complete all modules that are published on ELT Teacher 2 Writer.  I am very interested in materials writing, especially for Young Learners. I have already written and self-published a book for teachers of young learners, however, I would like to receive some training as I feel I need some guidance in this area.

5) Send in proposals for online workshops/webinars. This is something new for me, and quite nerve-racking for someone who gets nervous at face-to-face sessions. A webinar is generally attended by many more people than a conference workshop. It is also a very different experience as there are lots of other factors involved. I had a taste of webinars in last year's EVO Digital Storytelling course, but I tried to avoid speaking where possible! This year hopefully, I will be able to lead the webinar more comfortably, along with Juan Uribe, who I am sure has more experience in this! I am often sent links to online mini-conferences and calls for participation for things like VRT. This year I plan to send in a proposal and overcome my fear of speaking in webinars.

These are my five main objectives for the year 2013. Some of them I feel comfortable about (writing), others not so (public speaking) but I think it is important to challenge oneself and leave the comfort zone now and again.

What are your goals for 2013?


  1. Hi Michelle,

    I hope you manage to find more time to blog this year!

    As for webinars, they can seem daunting at first but I have found them quite easy to get used to. The main fear is technical problems but once you have got past that fear, it's actually quite fun :)

    1. Hi Dave

      I think my fear or webinars, apart from the technical aspect of things is the same as my dislike for making phone calls - not being able to see the people you are talking to creates a whole different dynamic as you don't know if they are enjoying it or even if they understand. Having said that, there are lots of good features on Blackboard Collaborate such as polls that can help this aspect.

      The other aspect is finding a good topic for a webinar as some more practical classroom ideas I think are best suited to practical F2F workshops.

      I also hope I find more time to blog! I am enjoying reading about your driving lessons btw!

  2. What a great set of goals, Michelle! I never knew you tried to avoid speaking during EVO. I'm always so impressed with how much you know about teaching that I guess I just assumed you were confident (just quiet) :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing you in webinars. Living on opposite sides of the world as we do, it's my best chance to watch you present!

    I do have one more goal that I'd like to add to your list -- another guest post on Teaching Village. It's a self-serving goal, I know, but I enjoy learning from you :)

    Hope 2013 brings all good things for you!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Barb! I remember that first webinar in EVO last year when you were asking me if I had anything to add and I think I said that you had covered everything (which was true enough anyway)! When Dave and I did our Week 4 webinar I let him lead, and I had everything I wanted to say neatly typed and printed on a piece of paper in front of me - having what I want to say written down helps me feel more confident :)

      Of course I will contribute another post to Teaching Village! I'll see what I can come up with :)

  3. These are great goals to have. I'm not much of a New Year's resolution person, but I'm also (kind of) aiming at goals #2 and #3.
    One thing I've done, and that maybe you'd like to try, is to video record my conference talks, then of course watch it and cry :-)
    but it's a good way to develop as a speaker I think. Also, to watch presentations with an attention to how the speaker conveys his/her messages, well or not I always note down one or two things I'd like to do, or that I should be careful not to do.

    Good luck and look forward to reading more posts here this year :-)


    1. Hi Willy! Great to see you here!
      I'm sure you are an excellent public speaker, you express yourself brilliantly in your blog posts, although I guess speaking and writing are two completely different skills - I feel a lot more confident writing about my ideas than presenting them orally.
      Thanks for those ideas, I will pay more attention to how good presenters give their talks rather than to just the content. At the end of the day though, I feel that a lot of it comes down to practice.

      I read your post on English for Prostitutes the other day - an excellent post with some great comments!


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