This is my 100th blog post 🙂
I started my blog back in October last year, but I only wrote a couple of posts before it got forgotten. At the end of December I took part in my first #eltchat on Twiiter, then preceded to have ten days off work with no voice and a bad cough. The combination of the high from #eltchat and an almost complete lack of face-to-face contact with the world was just the motivation I needed to get both my blog and my Twitter participation off the ground. Since then, the two have been intertwined, and have changed my teaching and my life.
Through Twitter I have met an amazing international group of educators from around the world who constantly motivate and inspire me to be a better teacher. They have opened up a world of technology which have helped to shape my contact with students and extended it to outside the classroom through sites such as Edmodo. I have learnt hundreds of activities through #eltchat, a weekly conversation which I take part in as often as I can and have many times written summaries for. I am now one of the curators for #eltpics, a resource which I am hugely proud to be a part of (with Victoria, Fiona and Carol). I have got work as a follow-up to entering a competition I heard about on Twitter. I have also received a scholarship for the IATEFL conference in 2012, when my presentation will bring many of these strands together by being based on research about how to encourage students to use online materials. I am greatly looking forward to the TESOL France conference in Paris at the beginning of November when I will finally get to meet many of these fascinating people, a conference which I didn’t even know existed before joining Twitter. Lizzie Pinard has visited me in Newcastle, and I’ve Skyped with Naomi Epstein, Barbara Sakamoto, Eduardo Siemens and Ceri Jones. I’ve also written a joint post with Ceri and blogged for Barbara. Twitter has also become my staple seminar -so far I’ve introduced five groups to the site, and hopefully they won’t be the last!
On the blog front, I feel like it’s been going from strength to strengh as my confidence has built up. I particularly enjoy sharing materials and hearing how others have used them. I would like to thank everyone who has commented and retweeted my posts – this helped me to overcome the common fear that I have nothing to add to the blogosphere. Now I feel like my blog has become a place to experiment and share my experiences so that others can build on them.
To end with, here are a few facts and figures:
- 81 people subscribe to my blog
- 17,430 page views since I started
- 458 page views on my busiest day
- Largely thanks to Ann Foreman who posted them on the British Council Teaching English facebook page, my top five posts are:
1. Tools for the twenty-first century teacher
2. Present simple / present continuous
3. How to join in with #eltpics
4. Encouraging English in teens classrooms (an #eltchat summary)
5. Cuisenaire rods (a joint post with Ceri Jones)
- ‘Sandy Millin’ (people know I exist!) and ‘describing graphs‘ are the most common search terms bringing people here
- The person who has left the most comments on my blog is Naomi Epstein 🙂
- This is has been the most popular week on my blog since I started (possibly due to publishing something every day!)
Thank you for all of your support, and here’s to another hundred!