Revisiting my interview with Shelly Terrel for 30 Goals for Educators

   Last month I was surprised when I was tagged by Rose Bard  to be interviewed by Shelly Terrel for the challenge #30Goals EDU. I was scared, surprised, excited, happy and anxious, but at the same time, very happy and proud of being tagged by one of the educators I most admire.

   I was challenged to talk about teacher and students motivation. as I play a lot of roles on education, including teaching, e-moderating, teacher training , writing materials and mentoring. 

   As I stated in my other post about  Defining my moment, I was introduced to a brave new world of education , involving new approaches , technologies and a huge PLN on the second semester last year (2012), when I had big changes in my life. The turning point was the IATEFL  in Liverpool in April . There I met in person lots of people from my PLN such as Shelly Terrel, Malu Sciamarelli ,  Carla Arena and Dimitris Primalis, among other great people who inspired and still inspire me. In addition, I had the honour to share a room with Ana Maria Menezes, a personal friend,  mentor and one of the most courageous,  creative  and admirable women I have ever met!

   The purpose of this post is to revisit my interview in order to reply some questions made by another great educator Débora Tebovich  who will also be interviewed. 

   After watching the interview see my replies to the questions: 

   Question 1:  How do you get to know about your Students? Given my own scenario, I find it easy to know about them, but as time goes by, I have become aware the sometimes getting to know students is an ongoing process.

   Question 2: As we involve as teachers , they do as students. 

   Question 3: I love you said SS need to have fun to learn . A challenge question: Have you ever felt bored in class? Have you ever had more fun thank your SS? 

   Getting to know about my Students:
   Indeed, getting to know the SS is an ongoing process. It has all to do with a set of factors, including the first impression they have from us and vice versa. Good rapport is the key for development, learning and classroom management. And no matter how nice you are, you have to be assertive and make things clear from the very first moment. 

   What I do (at least  I try t do) with most of my students is to permanently bet in touch with them, mainly via the Edmodo platform, journal diaries as well as a lot of writing. 

   I also have an e-mail account  just to get in touch with  the SS who want to write e-mails. However. I let them know in advance that I'll read and reply their e-mails once a week in a certain day arranged in advance. 

   Another way to get to know my SS better is by using fun web tools and apps to engage them according to their age. For example, most of my SS love working with livetyping , voki  . glogster and padlet .  To use these tools students have to expose themselves and share feelings, thoughts, opinions, and we end up knowing little by little what they like or not , their feelings and a lot about their personality. This indeed help me a a lot to get to know them more deeply.

   As for the adult SS , I also use the Edmodo. However, I don't know why, they sometimes find it childish. As they are adults, I have Facebook  groups  as most of them have the app on their smartphones and it facilitates communication. 

   Regarding my online SS, I usually keep the track by interacting a lot with them . No matter what the platform is, I always get in touch with them by showing great interest in their assignments, reading  them and giving positive feedback even when I have to point out  areas of improvement . Online courses have a considerable number of drop outs because , at least in Brazil, there is this strong culture of seeing the teachers and having " the knowledge from them. " Interestingly, Ana Maria Menezes raises this issue in her upcoming dissertation. Having said that, I usually propose synchronous meetings via Skype or Google Hangout.  It's funny how the SS like seeing I am alive and that I am  just a real mortal hard-working teacher rather than a "computer ghost". It has worked well so far. 

   Getting involved:
   Being a teacher, gosh! There's no way we do not get involved with the SS and vice-versa. Of course empathy  does not  happen  all the time from both sides. This is when we need to use wisdom, behave as  real adult  professionals and bear in mind it's not personal. This is another mantra we should keep repeating: It is not personal. It has to do with the whole thing about education, studying, level of motivation and lots of  other issues which are out of our control. So let's not worry  too much and act as natural as possible. A  good strategy is to share the responsibility with the SS and  parents.  

   Having fun or feeling bored

   Both! Sometimes I have fun even when I am preparing my lessons and then I picture my SS faces in my mind! This semester, particularly this semester, I am teaching a variety of levels and ages and sometimes I do laugh a lot and pick myself  having a lot of fun and wondering what will happen in class.  It's said that I've got good interpersonal skills and usually it is not that difficult for me to approach  my SS. However, it is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes my SS get bored, I get bored and sometimes I think I had prepared that marvellous lesson and then I fail! It does not work at all. My fault? SS fault? It's not worth to blame anybody. Let's move on , try to figure out what was wrong and find solutions. If you need to change, change! There's no demerit on changing . On the contrary, changes make us grow! Believe me! 

Easy? Not at all! Time consuming, tiring,  frustrating sometimes ,but usually everything works well eventually and we are presented with effective results , happiness and the willing to go on. After all,  I was born to be a teacher. What about you? I look happy and motivated in the picture below, don't I?

Enjoy your teaching! 


Aleksandra Popovski said...

Dear Roseli, I just wanted to say that after seeing and reading your posts on FB and your blog, I just might start writing my own blog. It would be a completely new experience for me since I have never had a blog and I have never really put myself out there, you know, the internet (except for my FB profile). Keep up the good work! :)

Roseli Serra said...

Good morning, Alksandra,

I am really happy for you. Go for it! ONce you start, I'm sure you won't stop!
Good luck!

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Dear Roseli, thanks for the kind mention. It was a pleasure to have you as a roommate and share so many experiences with you.

Roseli Serra said...

Dear Ana,

I feel really blessed to have you in my life. Words would never be enough to thank you for all the lessons I have learned from you.
Cheers! :)

Debbie said...

Dear Roseli,
Thanks for sharing your answers to questions that arose while watching your inspiring interview.
I find your view that "no matter how nice you are, you have to be assertive and make things clear from the very first moment" very interesting. Very often I find myself interacting with students for long hours, which leads to a warm feeling of closeness and learnings but also feelings of exhaustion, and we all want to be healthy and rested. This mantra "It's not personal" is novel, like it. We tend to take things too personal. Self defensive? maybe.
I share this: "I was born to be a teacher", with time learned this is also my profession, this is why it is about failure and success. But Isn't it hard not to get emotionally involved with our students? Between you and me, once I asked for a meeting with one of my student's teacher at school. And it was positive, I just told her that Peter needed some extra time, but if we could both work together, Peter could feel happier and become visible in the class.
Thanks again for sharing your views, you are so clear and reflective that is a pleasure to learn with you and from you

Roseli Serra said...

Hey Debbie,

Thanks to you I wrote this post!
Thank you so much for your comments and food for thought. I also share the warm feelings for my SS, I do get involved with them too and , like you, I feel really tired sometimes. It's not that easy to balance these feelings with assertiveness, but it is possible. Perhaps due to my former post as the DOS of an institution , I kind of learned that "it's not personal". What a good action you took about Peter. It's exactly what I advise teachers to do: "Make partners long the way". It's priceless in our profession.
Let's keep sharing, dear. I look forward for your interview!

Much love,

Debbie said...

Hi Roseli,
Thanks once again for your feedback and support.
I wonder if my interview will really be really interesting Roseli, as you can see, I have more questions than answers.
But I have this feeling that by questioning we might find ways to solve some problems, learn how to deal with challenges.

Roseli Serra said...

Hey Debbie,

What a pleasure! I am looking forward to your interview and I am sure it will be amazing! You are inspiring, you see? Thanks to you I wrote this post. You'll rock girl! <3

Warms hugs from Brazil!

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