Thursday, June 09, 2011

'10 things...I want to do next year'

It gives me great pleasure to welcome my first guest poster onto this blog! Launched just two weeks ago, the new '10 things...' feature prompted my first comments in a while and a wee flurry of interest by other bloggers up for a go at it. I'm delighted to hand a platform over to Eva Büyüksimkeşyan for this post.

Eva lives in Istanbul and has been teaching English for more than 20 years. She says that she loves her job because it is challenging, it enhances creativity, it enables her to stay young and it helps her to become a life-long learner (can certainly agreed with each of those points regarding teaching!). We met at the Blogging Forum at this year's IATEFL, so she makes a very appropriate contributor for a guest post. Eva blogs here and tweets here.

So without further ado, over to you Eva.


Some people love making lists. They have lists everywhere on their notice boards, in their agendas, on refrigerators, etc. I’m also in favour of lists for many reasons. When I make lists,
  1. I feel I’m more organised.
  2. I will be less stressed.
  3. I know that I won’t put off the things I have to do.

Teaching is a very challenging job and we need to be organised and well-planned to achieve our goals.

I decided to write a 10 things ... list that we can prepare before the new term next year to help us be more organised.

Here is my list:

Before you enter your new class next year, make your first-aid lists. Create a folder for them.
  1. Create a ‘10 things I want to do before the end of this academic year’ and highlight your aims.
  2. Create your initial list of strategies to deal with difficulties and classroom management. Leave space to add more strategies as you experience your new class.
  3. List the things you do to improve yourself. Have a list of people or groups whom you can rely on when you need help. A PLN list on twitter or FB is ideal for this purpose.
  4. List your favourite tools and leave space to add more to your initial list.
  5. List your-must-be-visited-as-frequently-as-possible list of websites.
  6. Organise your files and bookshelves and have an easy way to reach whatever you want when you need.
  7. List favourite games and activities and have it somewhere you see every day so that you can use them frequently.
  8. Decide how you will praise and motivate your students and list a few statements you can use to encourage good work. (not the usual clichés)
  9. Create a list of ‘10 things I should never do and say in my class’.
  10. Make a list of ‘my strengths and my weaknesses’ and find ways to change things for better. 

That's a highly useful list of lists, I think. Quite a few things I've never really thought of. If I even managed half of those, I'd be a far better organised teacher! I'm currently going through number 6. at the moment - being the end of two different courses, one long, one short - and it's making quite a difference to how prepared I feel for my next classes.

Over to you now readers. For the teachers among you, how do you prepare for a new term? For non-teachers, does this list translate across to your profession?


Elaine said...

I am a school librarian, so technically I teach every kid in the school not to mention the faculty and staff.

Anyway, the first item is the one I really need to address myself. I have a lot of ideas, but they never seem to get implemented because I just don't think of them in a timely manner.

If I make my list over the summer, I can go ahead and start planning. I think for me, it would be better to select one item for each calendar month to concentrate on.

Deniz Atesok said...

Dear Eva,

Thank you for the great post. I do believe making plans and setting aims contribute a lot to professional development.

Inspired by your post, I will make my own list for the next academic year.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dom,

Thank you for the opportunity to make my to do list for the coming year :) It was fun to write it.
Dear Elaine and Deniz,
I'm glad that summer list making will be in your list. Would like to hear them to brush mine.

Globalism said...

@Elaine - thanks for dropping by and adding your contribution. I'm probably thinking along similar lines as you here, there's enough good advice to fill up a year's worth of preparation and planning! One item per month would make a good start and after a year, it'd all be in place just to tweak for the following one. I too get lots of ideas, but they end up almost stumbling over each other and consequently some things never get finished.

@Deniz - thanks for your comment and glad to see that my first guest poster has inspired you!

@Eva - glad you had fun writing it and thanks for doing so. You've brought new visitors here and that's always appreciated!

Elaine said...

I have actually added one thing to my list. I am going to learn how to use Picasa. Cameras are ubiquitous anymore and I need to know how to manage and USE all those pictures.

You can see my first post at I tried to put in a link, but the commenting would not let me.

Needless to say, I gave you credit for getting me thinking about what I want to do.

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

Great list!

I think I'd need an entire book for No. 9 !!

I'm a great one for lists - it's one of the few times I use paper in this increasingly nerdygeeky world - NOTHING can replace the physical satisfaction you get from crossing something off a list with a nice scratchy pen !

As far as preparation for a new term is concerned, I like to think in advance as much as poss too - but like you Dom - the ideas do end up stumbling over each other ...

oh yeah, and remember to back up all that planning ;)

Globalism said...

@Elaine - glad to see that this post has inspired you to get organised. Good luck with making use of those photos!

@Sarah - oh yes, the paper-based list. Likewise, one of the few things I still (regularly) use paper for and a great one for actually helping me get organised (plus that satisfaction of crossing it off).

One thing that it does which online or screen-based list making doesn't quite do is cut out the distractions. Sometimes you've just got to switch off to get something done!