Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Season

For everything there is a season,.... Ecclesiastes 3:1

The blogger is IN.

Ok, I don’t mean to get all heavy by starting with a Biblical quote. In fact, I’m feeling lighter than ever after a sweet, very relaxing summer. It was the most restorative break I’ve had in my eight years of teaching English. I didn’t participate in any PD. I didn’t go up to my workplace with jugs of vinegar to clean the water boiler that’s the centre of my hospitality station. I can do that next week.

Everything work-related went on hold. Self-nurturing came to the fore.

But now I’m back and believe that such a complete vacation is to thank for my current fresh attitude and excitement about the blank canvas before me.

I’ve always been a fan of summer. It’s not that I love muggy days more than crisp fall days. I think it’s because summer reminds me of childhood summers—the only time of year when I was permitted and it was socially acceptable to give myself long blocks of time away from other humans. At the age of nine I would hide up in a tree. Today my apartment is hidden among the boughs of two tall maples.

But fall has it’s own deliciousness, doesn’t it? This is a season of transition, nicely symbolized by the transitional wardrobe drying on my clothesline on this warm late summer day.

As a teacher, I appreciate this time of year for the opportunity it offers us to reinvent our classroom practice. The freedom from stress I experienced over the summer has made me realize that I can do so much better in the area of self-care, mental well-being, and work-life balance. I am even starting to believe that I can be a more effective teacher without devoting such an insane amount of time to planning and prep.

What does this mean for me as the administrator of and this blog? I’m not certain yet where I’m headed with it, but I can tell you what is calling to me and what isn’t.

For one, I have returned to my job feeling that life is too short for me to spend a lot of psychic energy on the BS. I want to continue to make time for my hobbies, such as linoblock printing and sewing.

I am still committed to supporting Yuliya Desyatova and anyone else who strives to bring more critical thinking and common sense to this whole national fiasco known as PBLA. You can expect me to post updates and summaries from her field work, publications, and conference circuit. My goal is to begin that next weekend.

But mostly I would like to corral and contain my advocacy work in order to make room once again for the things in ESL teaching that bring me joy, such as discovering a promising language teaching approach or reading a pedagogical book or article that makes me look forward to Monday when I get to share the ideas with colleagues and try them with students.
I have recently found such a teaching approach and received a nice thick book to read about it, so watch this space.

It’s good to be back.


  1. Welcome back! The LINC program I teach in goes year round. We had a two week break the first two weeks of July. Our 6 month term which began in April ends this week! We are in the midst of completing Progress and Conference Reports, etc. I truly wish we could have the two month break too, but our IRCC contract is what it is. I'm looking forward to following you on the net. You are an inspiration to me! Keep up the great work. PS I'm waiting for 3 new resources I ordered from Amazon gift card -- I'll let you know what I think when I get them.

  2. Unknown,
    Great to know you're cashing in that gift card you won here on the site. Do let me know which books you got and how you like them. --KM

  3. thanks for sharing , nice post

  4. Beautifully written post.

  5. Lovely poetic, thoughtful way to open the new school year.

    There’s a time to comply, to sit back, to wait...and then there’s a time to say enough is enough. PBLA is SO problematic that to be silent is to collude. Not to speak up is to fall into the “I was only following orders” category. I learned in my native South Africa to speak up when I see injustice, to speak truth to power. I agree with the Anonymous commentator on “Let’s Fix PBLA” that it is wrong - and unjust. Although I just want peace and quiet and the chance to make the next year one of my most precious, productive and joyful I am ready to continue to follow developments, to speak honestly about things I see - because it is right to do so and because, although we may not see the results immediately, truth will out if we have the courage to speak up. (Anonymously may be necessary for most because of the circumstances. An indictment in its own right..)

    In solidarity. In hopes of a sea change. With faith that this will be a wonderful year for all. With thanks to Kelly for this and her FB forum.


Thank you for participating in this forum. Anonymous commenting is available, but is not intended to shield those taking pot shots at those of us challenging PBLA. If you are here to do that, please use your name.