Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

The view from my balcony - another inspiration

The view from my balcony - another inspiration

This is a response to Shelly Terrell’s 30 goals challenge. Goal Number One was ‘Be a Beam‘:

Offer a student or other educator you see struggling support. It could be a colleague who is stressed or a student struggling with another subject. Who in your life needs your support?

On Wednesday night after evening classes at our school, I was in the staffroom getting ready to go home. One of my colleagues came in and told us about her elementary-level class. She’s struggling with it, as one student is very strong and talks all the time, while the other three students in the class are much weaker (below the level of the coursebook) have real trouble understanding, and find it difficult to speak. She asked for some help, and through the many ‘beams’ in my own PLN, I was able to pass on some tips:

  • record the students in class (with permission), email it home and ask them to give feedback
  • encourage the students to record themselves at home – this may make them more confident and willing / able to participate more in discussion at home
  • differentiate tasks, so that the stronger student is asked to record more than the weaker ones
  • take a look at the eltchat discussion on TTT and STT for some ideas about how to improve the quality and quantity of student talking time.

Being able to help my colleague with something I would have struggled a lot with myself only a couple of months ago really is testament to the quality of my PLN. Thank you!

Comments on: "Be a Beam (30goals challenge)" (4)

  1. Shelly Sanchez Terrell said:

    Hi Sandy!

    Welcome to the challenge! This is a wonderful example of how to show a teacher support. I get so excited when a teacher asks for help because then I can say let me ask my PLN (I describe what this is) and get to show them the power of one!


    • Thanks for the response. When people ask me questions now, they generally start my answer for me: “There’s a website for that…” / “I’ll ask on Twitter and get back to you”…working on transferring that to them looking themselves! 🙂


  2. Hi Sandy!

    Excellent tips – I will pass them on to my colleagues as well! I absolutely love your enthusiasm on your blog and on Twitter – will be great to meet you in person some day : )

    I feel the same way – Twitter and all the amazing educators on it have enriched my life and my teaching!

    Kindest regards,


    • Hi Vicky,
      Thank you so much for such a supportive comment 🙂 I would love to meet you too. I am so happy that I’ve found and been able to get involved in this community which I didn’t even know existed a few months ago.


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