Write It Down and Make It Happen
A year ago, I wrote the above professional goals on a sheet of A4 paper, and they have been on the wall next to my computer ever since. I can’t say that I looked at these goals everyday, but every once in a while, when daydreaming, I’d glance over and ponder the possibilities. What’s been fun to notice is that this two-year plan has mostly become a one-year reality. As it turns out, when we write down our goals, we manifest dreams.
Going to Costa Rica
Part of this dream-come-to-reality will begin next weekend, when I’ll get on an plane to San Jose, Costa Rica, with the final destination being Centro Espiral Mana, a learning center near La Fortuna. This center was created by Mary Scholl, a teacher educator I had the fortune of learning with during an online course she was giving via the SIT Teacher Training Institute called, Compassionate Communication (based on the communicative principles of Nonviolent Communication, which I wrote about in my first iTDi post). After finishing this course, I knew I had to come to her center to take the first step in finishing the SIT TESOL trainer process I had started a few years before. This is when Mary and her course became part of my two-year-goal plan.
Luckily Mary’s month-long training course corresponds with my program’s winter holidays: the perfect synchronization for dreams to become real. By doing this course, I’ll gain more insight into how compassionate communication can manifest itself in teacher education. This is extremely exciting, since it has been a passion of mine ever since I began my MA studies. Although I do my best to learn and practice this form of communication, I struggle with knowing how I can integrate it into the teacher-training curriculum I’ve designed for our in-service training course in Daegu, South Korea. My hope is that by combining compassionate communication with the learning-centered, experiential training component of Mary’s course, I’ll come out being able to answer my own question. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to move more confidently toward my goals of helping teachers connect compassion to their teaching.
The other two goals on my plan involve writing. Writing gives me the space to make sense of all the ideas that seem to swirl around aimlessly in my mind. It is my creative outlet, and as a blogger, it is also a way to connect to others. For these reasons, writing grounds me. When I combine my need to write with my teaching experiences and ideas, I fulfill another need: getting a deeper understanding of teaching and learning.
This is why I am happy to be on my way to achieving another goal: writing an article for a journal. If all goes well, an article on the topic of reflective practice that I’m co-authoring with Tony Gurr (teacher-trainer based in Turkey and prolific blogger at All Things Learning), should be in the 2013 Spring Issue of the English Teachers Association Switzerland (ETAS). This opportunity is made possible thanks to the support of iTDi friend and colleague, Vicky Loras (if you’re interested in writing for ETAS, just talk to her). Both Vicky and Tony are teachers I’ve never met face-to-face, and had only chatted with on Twitter a handful of times when I stuck my plan up on the wall a year ago. Twitter has definitely been part of my dream-realizing process on more than one occasion (see this post for more dreams).
The next goal has yet to come true, but the possibility is budding. Last year I put my name in to be a registered blogger for the Glasgow International IATEFL Conference. After that inspirational experience, I thought I would like to either present, attend, or blog during the 2013 Liverpool International IATEFL Conference. Not having the time or space to go to Liverpool, I’ve decided that I’d like to try blogging again, so last week I inquired about this on the IATEFL Facebook page. I discovered that anyone interested in blogging for the conference should be finding out more details in the next few weeks.
Adding to the plan
With all these goals becoming reality, I’m excited about adding a few more to the plan. One thing I’ve learned from all this is that if you have dreams, write them down; your dreams are just waiting to be born, and may surprise you with an early appearance.