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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?
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