Flickr image by alamodestuff

Flickr image by alamodestuff

Darren Elliot in his blog, The Lives of Teachers, challenged bloggers to go through the archives of some of their favorite bloggers. I am calling this a blogging challenge versus homework. Darren’s fantastic idea is optional and challenges bloggers. Here are some guidelines if you would like to participate!

1. Have a look through the archives of your favorite bloggers by looking at the sidebar, clicking a tag or category, or searching for keywords in a search box.
2. Leave a comment.
3. Link to it on your blog, or tweet it using the hashtag #hiddengems, which was created by Mike Harrison.

Here are the blogs I chose to explore in 2 categories along with quotes from their posts.

English Language Teaching Blogs

In Henrick Oprea’s blog, Doing Some Thinking, he questions Is One Born a Teacher? I enjoy the thought-provoking posts on this blog and this one definitely makes you reflect on why you entered the profession. I enjoyed this reflection from the post:

Maybe there is such a thing as people who are cut out to be teachers and will be extremely successful at it with little effort. Others may be just as successful, but will have to work a bit harder at it. It may come across as cliché, but I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Perhaps you will not be the most famous person who’s ever worked in your area, but you may definitely be great at it – whatever this it may be.

I love to visit Sue Lyon-Jones’ blog, The PLN Staff Lounge, because I get the comfort I need. Her posts make you really feel like you are in a staff lounge among your peers who empathize with the quirks of our profession. In her post, Murphy’s Law of TEFL, I especially enjoyed these:

If you plan to use the Internet during your lesson, the network will go down 30 seconds after the students have logged on and remain down for the rest of the session.
If you plan to teach a session using Twitter, you will end up delivering a 3 hour lesson on The Story of the Fail Whale.
Whatever level of English your learners are at, the phrase “please do not poke the LCD screens” will go completely over their heads.

In Anne Hodgson’s blog, The Island Weekly, she not only regularly publishes great posts, but she includes interesting podcasts and videos as well. I enjoyed this post and podcast, Which Thinker Taught You to Think?, where she reflects:

I don’t pretend to be a great thinker. Going to college didn’t go to my head, but the experience did teach me to use it. So I’d like to ask you: Which thinker taught you to think? For me, one of the most important thinkers was Jürgen Habermas, who turned 80 last Thursday. His belief in our communicative competence and his theory of communicative reason influenced the way I think and live.

In Eva Buyuksimkesyan‘s blog, A Journey in TEFL, she writes a beautiful post about reflection, failure, and student expectations, entitled, The Power of Feedback. I enjoy Eva’s honesty in her posts. I enjoyed this reflection from her post:

The end of the term was near and they were too tired as they studied for lots of exams and their projects and they were complaining that the teachers and parents were too expectant. That day I asked them to write an article about what I expect from a student instead of writing a feedback. I told them that way I would be able to understand if I was too expectant or not.

In Nicky Hockly’s blog, The E-Moderation Station, I enjoy the technology activities and pedagogy. In this post, Activities for Online Courses: The Beginning, she describes in depth how to have students create profiles using Glogster. I enjoyed this reflection from her post:

Like any good play, an online course has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Okay, admittedly some good plays – like Waiting for Godot – have none of the above, but bear with me on this. Some courses are short one-act plays,  and some are full-length Shakespearean dramas – especially when real-life tragedy does unfortunately intervene, and participants are forced to withdraw because of bereavement or illness.

Education Blogs

In Mary Beth Hertz’s blog, The Philly Teacher, she reflects on the way education is radically changing in scary ways in her post, The Times Are A-Changing. Mary Beth shows true passion in her posts for a better education system. I enjoyed this reflection from her post:

it seems everyone in education (or those with no hand in it) have something to say or do about education.
It’s scary as hell.

I enjoy the technology reflections and updates from Edbuzz.org. In this post, A Few of My Favorite TED Talks for Educators, I enjoyed this reflection:

“With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.”

I enjoy the passionate posts in Chad Sansing ‘s blog, Classroots. In this post, Republics of Change, he has educators question what they want to accomplish to be better educators. I enjoyed this reflection from his post:

Look back at what you’ve accomplished. Look ahead to what you want to accomplish. Look in all of your work for your best self. How does that teacher do it? How does that teacher plan such authentic, engaging work? How does that teacher spark a smile on the face of that student? How does that teacher communicate with parents and convince administrators that new ideas will work?

I am still working on commenting on all these great blogs and I wanted to include many more.

Challenge:

Look through some of your favorite blogs archives to see what #hiddengems you may have missed!

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