personal – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: personal

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 20.35.03With 2015 just a few hours away, and having met a (running) goal I set myself in September this afternoon, I thought I’d set myself some goals for the coming year. Equally, I had in mind to contribute to/’join in’ with two initiatives designed to encourage those in education – #nurture1415 and #teacher5aday.

2014 has been a year of readjusting to life in England. There have been frustrations such as breaking my ankle in April just as I was fully recovered from having broken my foot six months previously, and a turbulent time at school for a variety of reasons. However, those frustrations have had positive outcomes too: for example, I did take it easy as instructed and learned that it really is possible for me to sit for longer than 10 minutes.

Workwise, I’ve established Spanish at a new school, taken back the reins of Spanish at another and continued to work as Lisibo Ltd, speaking in Southampton, London, York, Solihull, Nottingham and Stafford, writing articles for TES Connect, ALL, Primary Teacher Update and Rising Stars, and consulting on projects with Osiris, Rising Stars, the BBC and a new app that came out this week called Pacca Alpaca.

Personally, I’ve got back to running. Twice! I’ve enjoyed singing with worship group at church and loved being part of the Cabaret once more, even managing to sing a solo early this month. And I’ve enjoyed concerts with Jude and his trumpet.

So here are my thoughts on the coming year, using the 5 John Muir Framework hashtags.

#connect – I’m aiming to be more confident to share my ideas with other staff at school. I think some wonder what happens in my lessons, and others don’t really mind as long as they don’t have to teach their Spanish lessons! However, I find it easy to share what I do with people outside school, so why not with colleagues? I’m looking forward to (re)connecting with people at BETT, ILILC and Teachmeets with whom I tweet and connect virtually, and I’m also going to get a Birmingham Primary Languages Hub off the ground but not going to try and sort out the whole of the city as that’s not going to do my well being much good!

#exercise – I’m going to start enjoying running again. I haven’t stopped running and I do enjoy the adrenaline rush but the joy I felt running in Switzerland seems far away sometimes. Work gets in the way, I know, as I can’t just go for a run when I fancy, and I am more limited with less public rights of way through fields etc here. However, I’m going to make a conscious effort to go for quality not quantity: no attempt on 1000 miles this year (but if it happens, so that’d be nice!) And then to …

#notice – I’m also going to worry less about speed and enjoy the sights and sounds as I run. Well, not all the time as that would drive me mad, but I intend to ‘seize the moment’ and pause to appreciate the view, and also to run without my headphones and music more often.

#learn – In Switzerland I learned German and even got to speak it sometimes! Since returning, I haven’t had much opportunity to practice but this year I want to keep it up, especially as my eldest is doing his GCSE. Just hope I don’t put him off with my tactic of ‘say things with confidence even if you’re not quite sure.’ I’m definitely going to keep developing my resource collection for German in primary language learning.

#volunteer – In September, I said I’d do a cross country club at one of my schools; we’re blessed with the sufficient grass around us (belonging to school and ‘shared’ with the local grammar school) to do it safely. I really enjoyed it and so did the kids that signed up. I hope to revive it once the nights get lighter and certainly in the new school year, not least because I had a waiting list of children who wanted to join in. And perhaps I’ll add an element of HIT to it too.

Most of all, I’m going to make sure that I remember that I am a mother, and that my children won’t be children forever – indeed, they are now 16 and 13. My job is important but they’re far too precious to neglect. That may mean that I’m not the perfectly prepared teacher every lesson but who is?

And I’m going to keep looking on the bright side of life and blogging my Smiles – it’s good for my mental wellbeing!

It’s that time of year when people look back on the last 365/6 days and look forward to the next year. And at the end of 2012 I wanted to acknowledge the achievements of the last year as much to say ‘you were right’ to those who encouraged me when I was despairing as a celebration of some of the great things in which I was involved.

Moving to Switzerland was a big thing for my family, and it left a huge gap in my life where ‘work’ used to be. I miss teaching at WCPS (and judging by the reception I received when I visited in July, the feeling is mutual) and sometimes feel that I’ve thrown away all my hard work as here I am ‘just another foreigner’ rather than Lisibo. I am a very optimistic person but at times it’s not been easy to keep smiling so thanks to those who kept me hopeful because, you know what? I’ve done all sorts of things this year!

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I teach English to two lovely Spanish kids each week. They went to British School in Madrid and now attend Swiss school so their parents want them to keep up their English skills. They are amazing and I always leave the lesson smiling having had a great time. We especially enjoyed talking about the Olympics and the Jubilee celebrations. And since October I’ve also been teaching English to a Mexican mum from the boys’ school. There are so many people that she’s managed thus far without speaking English but now feels she needs to make an effort for the sake of her children, and so that she can talk to more people. Her confidence is very fragile but she’s doing really well!

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Since May I’ve also been ‘subbing’  at ISZL in Baar thanks to someone introducing me to someone else at just the right moment. It is SOOO wonderful to be back in the classroom and to know that ‘I’ve still got it’. I’ve taught right across the age range from 3 to 11 year olds, and I keep getting asked back so that’s good! A week of Kindergarten awaits me next week (that’s Year1 in English speak) and I’m really looking forward to it.

And now I work a morning a week in the school library at my boys’ school having helped out on a voluntary basis since I got here. In fact, that library and especially the lovely Librarian/Media specialist Gretha have kept me going at times. It’s wonderful to be involved in the school and is a big step as I was told in no uncertain terms that they didn’t employ parents! Another big step was being given admin control of the school’s Facebook page.

The Lingo Show

Perhaps one of the highlights of my year was seeing my name ‘in lights’ on the television! I’ve been involved in The Lingo Show from the very beginning when the BBC was exploring the idea of doing something for very young children with a language element, through the tender process, meeting Lingo (who is also Postman Pat!) and auditioning prospective Quesos, seeing The Lingo Show launched on the Cbeebies website and finally being involved in the proposal for and production of the Spanish episodes of The Lingo Show shown on Cbeebies. I have to admit that I was very excited as I sat down to watch on 26th March, hoping that it was all OK (especially as I’d had to let someone else do the very final part of the Spanish as I was literally moving as they did it) and was overjoyed when I was contacted by people who had watched it with their children and liked it!

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I’ve also done some chunks of work for the BBC Primary Languages website over the last year, writing lesson ideas, information for parents and teachers, and writing content for the various sections. Still waiting for much of it to be uploaded and appear on the site but it’s there and waiting…

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And I’ve been on the TES Primary Languages panel led by the lovely Rachel Hawkes too – reviewing resources is fun but can be hard when there are huge glaring mistakes in them as you know that people have uploaded them out of the goodness of their hearts…

Whilst I’ve missed out on physically attending TeachMeets, I’ve been an avid online participant and have contributed presentations to various, both in the UK and international online ones too – see LisiboTV

bsel And the ‘techie’ bit of me has been occupied too as I’ve worked with Apple Switzerland as an ADE and AEM, supporting at an ELS in Geneva and presenting at a conference in Basel in October as well as sharing with them some of the things that I did in the UK. I’ve also become an Apple Professional Development consultant and done training in Ticino, Zürich and Harrogate.Yes, I’ve been allowed back into the UK. In fact, twice!

Another high point of the year was in February when I spoke 1  2 at ILILC2 in Southampton. It was so great to be with ‘old friends’ and make new ones, and reaffirmed what a great bunch of people us language teachers are. I swapped Toblerone for paracetamol (you are all lovely xxxx), made everyone sing German drinking songs (and harangued those who weren’t getting into it!), reflected on being in an uncomfortable position and enjoyed the ideas, inspiration and company of others who share my passions. The Show and Tell was … unforgettable, the sessions inspiring and the conversations uplifting.

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And that brings me to this year…

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Well, I’m not exactly sure what 2013 will bring, but I’m excited to find out!

I do know that I’m teaching Kindergarten next week at ISZL, and I’m sure I’ll be back there regularly.

I’ll continue to teach English to M and M and Sonia, and also work in the school library – next project is working out how to fit the increasing stock into the library and media centre so that a)people can still in get in and b) find the books!

I’ll carry on delivering APD, wherever and for whoever asks, working with Apple Switzerland to promote the effective and well considered use of technology in the classroom, and helping anyone who asks with advice, training and support.

And you’ll see me at various TeachMeets – virtually in all likelihood but you never know…

February brings a definite though – I’m coming to the UK, to Southampton because…

#ILILC2013_I-am-speaking-at-with-QR-code

To quote @MsMFL, I’m so excited… But more of that in the next post!

Other than that, I’ll continue

1. running (I did 950 miles last year, thwarted in my assault on 1000 by hospitalisation, and am determined to run a half marathon in 2 hours) including leading a running group for mums at ISW

2. ‘blogging’ – here, on Smiles365, and on SwissMiss-Adventures

3. tweeting – what would I/we do without Twitter?

4. writing – articles, resources and opinions

5. practising German

and most importantly

6. smiling :o)

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Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a 2013 that’s even more exciting than 2012!

 

 

tomlin quote

This is the sort of teacher I aim to be.
http://lisibo.co.uk/wp-admin/edit.php
FEEL

I want to be remembered. Not with cuddly teddy bears and keyrings (although they’re lovely!)

Finding Out

And I want to be the teacher who leads her pupils to that ‘true delight’.


I’ve set myself a challenge for 2010.

It has nothing to do with languages nor ICT, well, not really.
It has more to do with my mental wellbeing, and doing something different.
I love trees and find them beautiful and intriguing. Looking at trees makes me feel calm and secure. And recently I’ve been taking lots of photographs of trees.
So – my challenge – to take a photo of a tree every day for a year.
I’ll be publishing them on Flickr in my set Trees365 but I’ve also started a new blog called Trees365 on which I will publish them with, I hope, a slightly longer comment.
I’d love your comments and advice!

Happy New Year to all readers of ¡Vámonos!


I’ll leave it to ABBA to say it in Spanish!


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-7wAenKk7w&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1]


When I checked my counter this morning, it read 29,927. That set me wondering if I could possibly reach 30,000 by midnight to end the year off on a ’round number’!

I tweeted at one o’clock-

and then again (after prompting for a URL!) at 2 o’clock by which time I’d had another 30 hits!

I then went out to play in the park with my kids – resulting in ‘más morados en el culo’ – and was alerted by @wizenedcrone to my achievement :

Thanks to Fiona for taking the screenshot at the top and for alerting the world to my mishaps!

But joking aside, as the year draws to a close, I want to thank you for travelling with me through 2009 which has been quite a year – exciting, scary, inspiring, stressful, successful and unforgettable.

Gracias amigos xx
PS to my reader in Kazakstan – are you Borat?? To my Icelandic reader – can I come and visit? And to my reader in he Aland Islands – welcome – I must find out where they are!!
Lisa xxx
PS as I publish this, my counter stands at 30,087. Thanks for enthusiastically hitting me xx

Abrazos

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Earlier today on Yahoo MFL Resources, Jane shared a Powerpoint presentation under the subject – Helping pupils be nice?

So I decided to do just that! I’ve made a couple of alterations and made it into an Animoto video by saving the slides as .jpg files, uploading them to Animoto as images, choosing some suitable music and leaving the rest to Animoto.
Hope you enjoy it and like the message xx

25000 not out!

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¡Vámonos! hit another milestone at some time between 10am and 2pm when it received its 25,000th hit. That is to say, my blog has been accessed more than 25,000 times- my previous counter mysteriously disappeared and, as I had no idea exactly how many hits I’d had when it went, I reset it to the last milestone I recalled.

So thank you for your continuing readership and support. It’s really exciting when people meet me and say ‘I read your blog!’ or ‘I used that idea you blogged’ or ‘thank you for your inspiration.’ It is so encouraging and keeps me going when things get on top of me.


Lisa xx


Just back from 11 days in Switzerland. Had a great time with my family exploring and investigating, and have to say that I am missing the mountains and lakes already. Absolutely stunning! My photos don’t really do justice to the beauty of Interlaken and the surrounding area but here are a few of my favourites.

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