You may have seen the 10-year challenge meme on facebook or Instagram. Here’s my take, and something of a reflection on the decade, one in which I’ve grown and developed enormously as a person, and learnt so much.
Here’s the first photo of me I can find from 2010, from January 9th:
I was halfway through my second year of full-time teaching after university/CELTA. I’d completed the IH Business English Teaching Certificate and was partway through the IH Certificate in Teaching Young Learners (before teens were included).
It was another 10 weeks before I presented at a conference for the first time (March 2010 – though I’d attended a few one-day events in Brno, Bratislava and Prague), 6 months before I joined Twitter (June 2010) and 10 months before I started my blog (October 2010).
Here’s a picture of me from Christmas Day, three days ago:
Here are 20 things I’ve done in the intervening period, ready to launch into 2020:
- completed the IH Certificate in Advanced Methodology, IH Certificate in Online Tutoring, and Cambridge Delta.
- started a Masters in Professional Development in Language Education with NILE.
- become a CELTA trainer, and worked on 14 courses with a range of great trainers.
- realised that I can be a Director of Studies, and been one for 4.5 years.
- published 674 blogposts (this is number 675) on this blog, and many posts and articles in other places too.
- written three books, and contributed to a few others.
- tweeted over 29,000 times, mostly at conferences I think!
- helped to curate #ELTpics and the #ELTchat summaries page.
- become addicted to IATEFL conferences, volunteered on the IATEFL Membership and Marketing Committee, and set up and run the IATEFL blog for a couple of years.
- presented at a lot of other conferences and online events.
- been diagnosed and learnt to live with ulcerative colitis and become a much better cook and a considerably healthier eater in the process.
- got a Fitbit, and drastically increased the amount of exercise I do.
- visited a lot of new cities and countries.
- learnt 2 new languages to a reasonable level, and had a go at 7 others to fuel my addiction.
- met a lot of fascinating people and made a lot of new friends.
- taken around 60,000 photos, give or take.
- become increasingly aware of my massively high carbon footprint, and started trying to reduce it.
- bought a flat.
- found other people who enjoy board games as much as I always have!
- learnt to answer back to my inner voice, deal with my thoughts in a much more constructive way, and stay calm and manage my emotions in challenging situations.
So what’s next?
The biggest thing I’d like the 2020s to bring for me is an answer to this 2016 letter, though point 20 means that it’s not even close to the issue I felt like it was before. I don’t think about it anywhere near as much as I used to, but it’s always there a little bit. I know time will tell, and I’m happy either way, but a family would be nice (yes, I know there are other ways that can be achieved!)
Apart from that, more of the same please. That includes the next ELT Playbook, which I’ll be starting soon if all goes to plan. I love my life, I don’t regret anything from the past 10 years, as even the bad things have been experiences I’ve learnt from which have made me who I am today, and I’m excited about what the future holds.
Have a great decade. Enjoy!