Ann Loseva

What I learned in 2012 – Ann

Becoming A Better MeAnnaLoseva140x150

I always enter the weeks before the end of a year with an uncomfortable feeling. There is a lot of pressure at work with papers, credits and exams,  and there’s this fussy pre-New-year time, but those are not the prime reasons. The uneasiness comes when I, following my tradition,  I open up one of my notebooks and write down 20__ __  at the top of a blank page. Then I stare at it — and I contemplate.

I approached the end of year 2011 with a bitter feeling of things going wrong. Being overwhelmed with numerous online activities and new connections, I totally fell out of REAL life. I lost important bonds and unconsciously devalued what is of true worth. Realizing this fact and overcoming its consequences I consider my biggest success of year 2012. By reflection and action, I’ve learnt how to come to terms with these two parts of my life, assigned each of them their own place, established the difference, and I now always remember my priorities.

I am slowly learning to get over my unflattering qualities. I am learning to be less judgemental and critical. I am getting to grips with the fact that everyone has his/her own place and that’s the only place you can succeed in, by doing what is in it for you. I’m learning to be forgiving, too. I used to be very individualistic, but now I’m teaching myself (and my students with me) to cooperate and value the opinions of others. It is not the wise quotes in my Facebook feed that have given me the motivation to change, but the conversations, the kindness of people around me, the diversity of opinions, the good attitude and openness of my PLN. Thanks to them, I have learnt to be more mindful and less skeptical. I have learnt how to socialize and take pleasure in it (something I couldn’t boast of for several years).

As a teacher I have acquired new practical skills. This year I have used several web 2.0 tools for the first time, read insightful professional articles and blog posts, and tried out activities from webinars and conference sessions that I visited. Going to conferences has proven to be especially beneficial as I not only learnt a lot but, more importantly, gained confidence and got an energy boost that empowered my teaching for weeks after the conference itself. With this uplifting feeling I discovered the will power to take action and step out of my comfort zone – to be bold in my ambitions, to formulate my ambitions.

On a more practical level, I’ve learnt how to optimize my note taking and goal-setting with the use of devices and good old pen-and-paper. I am still learning to set priorities and keep promises though, but I’ve learnt not to give myself too hard a time for sometimes failing to do that.

From this year on I want to carry into my classroom what I learn myself in order to share with my students, be it a new word or a phrase, an interesting fact, or a fresh idea. It looks to me that I’ve learnt to teach with intuition: Not too afraid to make a mistake, not too reproachful for being imperfect. Being a teacher, I can allow myself to keep my own personality in the classroom now. It’s another success of this year – I have stopped even the slightest pretense. In my class and after the final bell goes off,  I am one and the same person.

I know this post is neither practical nor useful to readers as it is just as personal as a page of my diary could be, more like a revelation. Yet I know that iTDi is a safe place for me to share and exactly the right place where I would love to share. Everything I have mentioned above has had its effect on my teaching. Every positive change I’ve had in my understanding of myself has altered my way of teaching. Changing as a person, I change as a professional, and that means so much to me. It might seem too bold but that is probably the main message of this post. It is useful to aspire to be a better you.

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Anna Loseva

Anna Loseva is a Russian teacher of English in a university in Tokyo. She curates the iTDi Blog, writes (mostly about teaching and learning) on her own blog at, and co-runs Reflective Practice Group in Tokyo. Other than that, Anna spends time reading, travelling, doing yoga, and learning more about sketchbook art. Anna is passionate about teacher AND student self-development and she strongly believes that fruitful education process is driven by the mix of positive thinking, inner as well as outer motivation and avid curiosity.

10 thoughts on “What I learned in 2012 – Ann”

    1. Thank you Valentina! I don’t know to expect from 2013, but I sincerely hope it will be exciting and different.:)

  1. The real stories of us are the ones that inspire me the most Anna. Reading what you feel and how you feel about this year leads me to stop and ask myself the same questions. I hope I have become a better me this year too.

    1. You certainly have, Rose.

      Personal stories have a strong impact on me too. I wish I had more of what it takes to turn an observation of a feeling into experience of a true change.
      On my way to that.)

  2. Dear Ann,

    I love this post as I can see the person Ann more and how you saw / see her. What I see is a wonderful human being who enjoys her work so much, that it brings the greatest results for her and her students.

    I am very lucky to know you! The strength and motivation I get from this post are a super start for 2013!

    All the best,

  3. Vicky, I just hope this human being will be able to keep drawing more and more inspiration and strength this year to pursue her goals from another wonderful human being – you!
    Thanks for being such a super Vicky, thanks for being around!

  4. My dear Ann,

    So much of what you have shared in this post resonates with me… Thank you for it. I am sure 2013 will continue to be a time of much (personal and professional) growth for you.

    Big (purple) hugs!


    1. Thank you, Ceci, I have hopes it will, at least the start of it has proved to be. Hope it will give us both opportunities to grow!..
      Big hugs!;)

  5. Dear Ann,
    Thank you for opening your heart to us, thank you for being honest and reflective. I feel that what you have shared might have to do with what I learned and changes I have adopted during 2012.
    I see you have made a step forward, feeling better person is healthy, and then here you are, see the results?
    This is another story of openness.
    Thanks Ann

  6. Dear Debbie,

    this past year I guess I’ve upgraded my ability to reflect) It’s brought more fruit. It’s been more satisfying.
    I”m happy to read your comment, there’s a lot of understanding in it, which means there’s you far away there, but with the same vibes. Thank you for this!

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