A DOUBLE BLOG CHALLENGE in honor of the Blog’s FIRST Birthday!

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It is a bit mind boggling for me but my blog is one year old!

And this post is the 160th post!

I started this blog wondering if blogging was something I could do and would I be writing for only for me, myself and I. Lets face it – how many people out there deal with teaching English as a FOREIGN LANGUAGE to deaf students?

A year later I can safely say that differences in classroom setting don’t matter much  – there are so many issues all teachers have in common, especially those who also teach English as a foreign language. What matters is an openness and willing to take up though provoking issues and discuss them.

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Over this past year I have “met” a large number of impressive educators who feel that education isn’t something we should take for granted but must explore its “whys” and “why nots” and are not afraid of the question “what if…”.

I can’t imagine life without all of you now! This blog will certainly have a second year!

So, besides inviting you all to enjoy the puffin pictures we took on the island of Skellig Michael in Ireland, there are TWO challenges!

Why two?

Because my blog has two distinct parts.

Sunday thru Friday it is a respectable, professional blog.

On Saturday’s it is a book lover’s blog with an occasional movie or trip thrown in (just because I feel like it!).


If you had a Saturday’s book category on your blog – which would be the book you would start off with?


When I tweet with you all, particularly on #eltchat (but not only then) I feel I’m entering another space. Since this blog is called Visualising Ideas I have a mental image of the space we are in when we chat, discuss, suggest and support each other.

I imagine it as a large room that has a common area and nooks for small groups. There are no computers in this room as it is all about communication directly between people. The chairs are comfortable and there are some hammocks or sofas for people who prefer to discuss things while lounging about. I can’t decide on the colors of the walls – My current thought is that the color changes according to the mood of the discussions – bright colors for animated discussions, soothing pastels for supportive conversations, etc. The acoustics are good so that even if there are many people you don’t feel lost in noise. There would have to a free machine supplying zero –calorie soft drinks – I know a few members of my PLN that wouldn’t stay there for long without it! LOL!

So, how do you visualize our space when we are in PLN MODE?


25 thoughts on “A DOUBLE BLOG CHALLENGE in honor of the Blog’s FIRST Birthday!”

  1. Hi Naomi!

    Happy 1st Birthday for your lovely blog!

    I love your visualization of all of us on #ELTchat!!!!

    I must admit I haven’t thought about it – probably more an auditory type and I tend to hear your voices, a buzz of excited voices.

    Will try to think of an image though

    Keep writing and sharing

    And here’s to many more birthdays to your blog!


  2. Wow Naomi! Congratulations on a year of blogging and what a great set of photos to celebrate your anniversary with!
    I’ve really enjoyed the insights you have shared into a kind of teaching which is completely different to mine, but which, as you say, shares so many facets. I look forward to reading yourmposts and learning from you for a long time to come!

  3. Congrats on the year! =) You’re a valuable part of my PLN and the diversity between our contexts makes yours very interesting to learn about, for sure. 160 posts is incredible for one year. You’re a machine.

    I’ll take up your challenges, most importantly the book challenge, believe it or not. I need something a little off-topic to stimulate me. =)

  4. Marisa! Sandy! Tyson!
    Thank you for coming to celebrate with me! You all are the reason I’m celebrating! Would I still be here without all you fascinating folks?!!

  5. Happy happy birthday Naomi, to you and your wonderful blog!

    I will echo everyone above and say that I am so happy to have met you online and read your great posts. Count me in for the blog challenges!

    Wow – 160 posts! Super!

    (My blog birthday is this Saturday : )

    Mazal Tov,

  6. Thank you Chiew and Vicky for joining in the festivities!
    The second year looks very promising with fellow PLN members like you to follow!

  7. Vicky!
    Funny, we started blogging at the same time! I don’t even remember when I “discovered” you – it seems I’ve known you for a long time!

  8. Congratulations on the birthday and I am pretty amazed at the blog count. 160 posts! Way to go, and they are really goo ones as well.
    Ok, now for the challenge. This might a little bit tainted with the find memories of IATEF Harrogate 2010….
    I see a crowded English pub. It’s still pretty chilly out there. You enter and you see familiar faces here and there, you go around have a quick chat, a hug, a kiss and move about. It’s all really loud, and quite messy. You look for the familiar faces and you get your pints or glasses of red or whatever and start a conversation, at the same time fragments of others’ conversations drifts in you find yourself a bit distracted but them you return the conversation you have had. Then it’s time to move on, you find yourself talking to someone about something completely different, it’s immediately very intimate and close but this lasts for a few minutes again because there are new people drifting in off the street and they go around and the place is abuzz constantly. Then later it’s only the hard core staying on, scattered in different corners of the room and they talk very deeply about some of the stuff they very strongly believe in.
    Yes, I think this is my visualisation of the PLN together.

    As for the Saturday Book Club nominations. Actually, why don’t I have a Saturday Book Club? Great idea. Love it. I would probably start it with Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, a book I dearly love and was the inspiration for my first daughter’s name. This was the book that made ma want to be the parent whose main aim in life is to cater for the inquisitive mind of my child and to provide her with more questions thank answers and to make her seek questions and not accept anything without evaluating and weighing it beforehand. Yes, I think I will start a Saturday Book Club….

  9. What a vivid description, Tamas! I could conjure the image in my mind!Love the way you write!

    You know, Sophies World is one of those books I have heard about but haven’t read yet. Taking note of your recommendation!

  10. Happy birthday! It’s strange to think of your blog only being one year old. I can’t imagine life without the people I’ve met, like you, through my PLN… and now to the ELTCHAT visualisation:

    When I set off on my weekly navigation towards the land of ELTCHAT it’s like setting sail into uncharted waters on my little ship which isn’t even a ship, it’s a deck, in fact a tweet deck. I have always, I suppose, thought of myself on this deck sending off little tweets across the wide ocean of Twitter until they come to the sandy shores of the ELTCHAT island. This is a balmy place with soft winds and friendly inhabitants who are always ready to have a laugh with you, to give you support of to share their experiences with you.
    In fact it’s better than an exotic holiday because these people are always there, maybe not always the same ones, and we don’t all manage to get there every week, but we know that when we do there will be a warm welcome waiting for us, maybe even a fire on the beach and a barbacue as well… or is that just my stomach telling me to go and make dinner.
    Anyway, well done Naomi, a great challenge 🙂

  11. OOH, I love being on your deck the tweetdeck! I can just hear the waves without feeling seasick! There is always such a warm welcome, isn’t there!! THANks SOOO much!
    Here’s to many happy sailing days to come!

  12. Congrats, Naomi! What an accomplishment!
    I still feel like a newbie on Twitter but I fondly remember your blog being one of the first ones I discovered and commented on.
    What I especially like about it is that you really tell us about your daily life as a teacher. You share it with us when you are happy and proud but also when you feel insecure, or frustrated…
    It makes you one of the most “real” people I have met on Twitter.
    Keep blogging and sharing your life and books with us!


  13. I love Tamas’ images – may be I’m the bar girl in there handing out drinks and shouting ‘Last call” especially when I’m looking for someone to write the summary? 🙂

    Sharon’s exotic visualisation is great, too – I love her word play with deck and Tweetdeck.

    I think my visualisations are no longer the same as in the early days of #ELTchat because I have now met so many of the #ELTchatters face-to-face, I have the feeling I am with them in the same room, like in a big classroom, and I’m the teacher and I’ve given them all a little task to do so I monitor and talk to one or the other group, then maybe I go to the centre when it looks as if it’s going awry to focus their activity, or show them something on the projector…

    It’s a lively and fun class to teach and they come in really excited and raring to go – on occasion a new student steps in and they are all dream students who immediately take them under their wing…

    Ahhhh…. what a boring image – once a teacher, always a teacher

    But I love my class and always look forward to seeing them with great anticipation.


  14. Mieke!
    Sending you a HUGE virtual hug – I can’t tell how much I aprreciate your words! Except for my closest friends, I don’t mention my blogging activity to anyone – it seems so odd to them! I write because I need to reflect, analyze experiment, discuss and learn. I had no idea of what a supportive and enriching environment I was getting into!
    So glad you are part of my PLN!

  15. Marissa!
    Not boring at all – we are all teachers 24/7! It colors the way we see life! Thank goodness your vision of life included #eltchat!

  16. Happy birthday! You’re amazing, inspirational, and I feel so blessed to have read your blog this past year because it’s giving me hope for education worldwide knowing there are educators with big hearts like you!

  17. Echoing the “wow” of 160 posts in a year. Tip of the hat, Naomi !

    Happy, happy bday indeed. Very exciting. Instead of imagining the room, bar, valley full of PLN-members chatting, I’m going to challenge you to imagine what it was like before you started this blog. A year ago, it must’ve been an empty room, and the gift for your blog birthday (which you’ve given to us too) is to have an international staffroom. That’s amazing.

    So great collaborating, Naomi, and I hope to meet up one of these days. Best from Paris, Brad

  18. Shelly!
    Thanks so much for joining the celebrations. Your 30 goals challenge and just following YOU really helped me get started in blogosphere!
    Have been learning a lot from you, including how to celebrate blog birthdays! LOL! I think you had the first one when your blog was a month old! Thanks so much for your ongoing support!

  19. Hi Naomi!
    Sorry I’m so late for the birthday party!
    Happy, happy birthday, as so many have said before, I love your blog and it has a really special place for me – your context, your ideas, our conversations always open my eyes to something new.
    Here’s to another 160 posts 🙂

    oooh, and the visualisation, I love the idea of being one of the students at Marisa’s class – or taking it easy in the buzz of Tamas’s pub by an open fire – I’m not sure what I see – I think maybe a flash of ideas like a fast-moving slideshow, but that you can somehow jump on board – like a digital flying carpet – jump to another message/idea/conversation, like mental stepping stones, that carry you off in a new direction

    mmm …. very very mixed metaphors! Sorry 😛


  20. Ceri!
    You can’t be late for THIS party! Thanks for joining in! I love the metaphors – I can picture them all!

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