Category Archives: Guests from abroad

From Superstitous Spiders to Celebrating Global CPD


The itsy bitsy spider (Naomi's Photos)
The itsy bitsy spider
(Naomi’s Photos)

It’s been the sort of week that makes me think of the phrase “everything that goes around, comes around”. It certainly seems that way, but was it because of the spider?

As some of you may know, I’m participating in a 365 project, which calls for a commitment to take a photo every day for a year. I’ve learned a lot from this project, including how to look at little things. So, I was delighted to get a shot of a spider among the dewy leaves right near my parking spot outside of school  (I never would have seen it before the project!).

Twenty minutes later in class, some students were working on exercises related to “the first conditional”. They asked for help with the sentence: “If you see a spider, you will get money”.

Really?! What a shame that I don’t believe in superstitions, because I just saw a spider!

Well, I didn’t get any money but I did “get” celebrations!

Spreading the word! (Naomi's photos)
Spreading the word!
(Naomi’s photos)

You see, my blog just had its 4th anniversary. So did Vicky Loras’ blog. Vicky is a wonderful ELT teacher located in Switzerland, whom I met when each of us decided to take the plunge and go look for online CPD. This means blogging and twitter, webinars, reading and collaborating online. Four years later I not only have learned a great deal, I now call Vicky my friend.

The thing that helped us both to really enter this new world was Shelly Terrell’s 30 Goals Project.

Today I read that Shelly and the project are celebrating the publication of a book: “The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small steps to transform your teaching!” So pleased to hear that!

But that’s not all.

The postman must have arrived very late yesterday, because we don’t get mail on Fridays. But there was an additional reason to celebrate waiting in my mailbox today – the Special Joint ETAI-ETAS issue of the ETAI Forum is out! And there’s a joint article, written by Vicky and myself,  presenting our “take” on Goal Number 3!

So what do you say about the timing of all of the above?!

Not bad for a little spider!

If you would like to read our article, here it is:

Vicky & Naomi




When Virtual Friends become REAL – Having SHELLY TERRELL over for Dinner

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve announced a standing invitation to our ELTchatters around the world – come, present at a conference (or give a workshop), tour the famous sites, and get a home cooked dinner (with friends) at my place!

This week THE renowned Shelly Terrell came for dinner. I’m still excited, post event!

Before Shelly walked in the door, while I was cooking, I was wondering about what it would be like to meet someone face to face that I had only known virtually. How different are our online personas? Would it be akward? Would the conversation flow?

I don’t have any answers to the general question but I can clearly state that Shelly is as friendly, sweet and fascinating in real life as she is online! And there was no akwardness either! For anyone!

Sara Tilleman, Micki Zaritski, Leo Sellivan, Shelly Terell, Elana Boteach and “a puffin”

I was particularly glad to thank Shelly personally for helping me REALLY start blogging. About two months after I had begun my blog, still “feeling the way”  I began participating in Shelly’s 30 Goal Project. After posting about each of those 30 ways to reflect on my carreer as a teacher, I not only learned a a great deal but became a confident blogger! Shelly was most encouraging in those early days!

Since I was the host I forgot to take a picture of the table. Know that dinner invitations to my house include such staples as cheese lasagne, corn fritters, spinach quiche, chick pea/tahini burgers and lots of salads. Dessert includes my one specialty (in the baking dept.) brownies and fruit. But I DID take a picture (afterwards)  of one of the table decorations – the “Penguin Oscar”. Shelly told me that a lot of people think my puffin symbol is a penguin anyway so that worked well!

Penguin Oscar