How to Stay SANE and MOTIVATED over the Years – Output from ETAI 2012

At  the ETAI 2012 Conference, in Jerusalem, we hashed out our very first OUPUT list. We formulated
Seven Do s and Don’t s on:
How to Sane and Motivated Over the Years

Before you read this, it was really interesting to note how recommendations that appeared on the list were reflected in the conference itself.
For example:
At the Peka Kucha we learned that our very own “watermelon artist” , Avraham, obviously is enjoying his hobby! And Adele shared with us how good it makes her feel to be a medical clown! Recommendation number two got strong support!
A very different example occured in one of the sessions – humor is a wonderful thing but one has to employ it carefully. One of the presenters had a brief moment of misunderstanding when someone who attended misunderstood her humor. Never fear, it was immediatly cleared up and all is well!
In addition, it seems the principal of the host school (who gave a welcoming talk) was reflecting on the “don’t” of point number three…
And don’t forget the many tech talks, some of them presenting tools to help teachers implement recommendation number five!
Finally, all of us at ETAI were following recommendation number SEVEN!

So, here is the list (it will be posted everywhere possible!):

Number one:
Do – Reflect on lessons that went well – build on THOSE.
Don’t – Don’t obsess over lessons that didn’t work out – Let it go.
Number two:
Do – Have a hobby / relaxing activity to engage in.
Don’t – Don’t say yes to everything the school wants you to do.
Number three:
Do – Have a sense of humor (Warning! Beware of sarcasm).
Don’t – Don’t take everything seriously.
Number four:
Do – Have a shoulder to cry on / someone who will let you vent.
Don’t – Don’t let your issues at school spill into your private life.
Number five:
Do: Collaborate and divide the work with other teachers.
Don’t: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Number six:
Do: Count to ten.
Don’t: Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Number seven:
Do: Engage in ongoing Professional Development.
Don’t: Don’t try to constantly reinvent the wheel.

Notes from ETAI 2012 – The OUTPUT Session (behind the scenes)

Things didn’t turn out as I expected them to but not all was lost. In fact something was gained.

First, the sad truth – only two teachers attended the session. I took a picture of the wall of classroom ( I came early) and the message was apt:

There are many reasons for this. As ETAI has been my home turf for over 20 years and I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum (more than 45 teachers, some sitting on the floor, when presenting practical srategies for the classroom, to talks with 2 or three people when presenting about students with a hearing loss) I know the reasons aren’t personal.

There were 10 sessions going on at the same time. People came up to me and said they weren’t coming because they really couldn’t miss the session on using body language in class or the one on accomodations for students with a learning disability on national exams because they needed this for class.

In addition, it was supposed to be an ETAI output thing. I did not “bug” the conveners enough so as to have it in planned as part of one the general conference sessions. In all fairness, I hadn’t given enough thought to that aspectand was busy teaching – that’s hindsight.

More hindsight is that it turns out there was wifi at the venue – a nice idea would to have teachers over twitter contibuting their suggestions.


The teachers that did come were wonderful! They are very experienced and took the topic very seriously. We had the kind of discussion I envisioned and it was great! You would think that with so few teachers there would be no reason to elaborate and make your case but the limit to only seven items really caused us to discuss which points are THE ones to get across.

And now I’ve had some (albeit small) experience being a moderator!

The fact that there IS an output from this session means the ball will continue rolling. I’ve already begun drawing attention to the list we produced!

The list itself will go up shortly in the next post.