Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to my first post of 2023! Wrapping up and reflecting on the past year is a thing, so I can’t stay behind. I’d like to kick off this year by looking at some of the people and things that made my life easier and pushed me forward. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them.
As I’m looking at my last year’s post, These are a few of my favourite things (2021), I can’t help but smile at how much has changed over the last 12 months. I closed 2021 with 2,301 visitors and 6,673 views in total. In 2022, I had 19,189 and 45,060 views! How crazy is that?! I can’t imagine what this year is going to look like.
I think that this year I would like to focus on my small achievements first and share with you some of my most viewed posts. My top three posts were:
- Cambridge PET – Speaking Part 3 (4,638 views)
- Cambridge PET – Speaking Part 1 (2,291 views)
- Linking words of purpose, result and reason – B1 Speaking Part 3 (1,315 views)
I must admit that changing the layout of the website and making it easier for everyone to access any of my older lesson plans has increased the views. Who would have thought?🤯At the moment, all my lesson plans are available based on levels. In the future, I’m planning to divide them based on topics.
I’m a big fan of maps, so here is the view of all the countries I reached in the last 365 days. The top countries are Spain (10,684 views), Italy (3,680 views) and Vietnam (1988 views).
I think it is important to mention everyone who featured my blog posts this year. It’s always so exciting to see that people enjoy my lesson plans and share them with their followers. Thank you, everyone! I hope that I didn’t miss anyone!
- The TEFL Zone (@RTsateri) – 15+ Christmas lesson plans!
- Rainforest Art Project – B2 – Greenwashing – Reading and Speaking — JoannaESL
- ELT-Cation – CPD for ELT Teachers: 7 ways to better invest your time and Just follow the frog
- Personalised English Language Courses – Should language teachers give free trial lessons to students?
- Sandy Millin (@SandyMillin) – Useful links for CELTA
- ELT Buzz (@Elt Buzz)- Online Teaching Laziness and Online Tutoring
Books for teachers
This year, the book that I looked at the most was English Grammar in Use 5th Edition by Raymond Murphy (Cambridge University Press). It helped me prepare much better and more in-depth explanations. It also provided me with many engaging and comprehensive tasks that I implemented in class and also often assigned as extra homework. It has never failed, and many of my students appreciated this extra work as it made them feel a bit more confident with the structure and use of English.
I used to focus primarily on Cambridge exam preparation. I still do it occasionally, but now most of my students look for conversational and general English classes. For this reason, I was looking for a perfect general English coursebook. I love all English File 4th edition books, but to keep myself sane, I decided to use some other coursebooks. Since last year I loved all the coursebooks published by Oxford University Press, I had a go at their Headway 5th edition. It’s got a bit different approach to grammar, but the reading and listening materials are topical and interesting, which makes for a great learning experience.
I wouldn’t have made it this far without Martin Sketchley (@ELTExperiences). I had been following Martin for quite some time before I really started paying attention to his incredible content. In February of last year, I was preparing for my first Preply trial lesson and his video A Real Preply Trial Class / 55 minutes / Unedited Lesson on Preply was exactly what I needed. It’s needless to say that he saved me a lot of time. Even though my Preply trial lesson style has changed, I still use his class as a scaffold.
Martin has quickly become one of the online teachers who I follow religiously now. His walk-and-talk series was one of my favourites this year. He was also the person who gave me a space to talk about my online teaching experience. It was a nerve-racking experience as it was the first time for me to speak online, but he put so much effort into making this video as informational and enjoyable as possible.
Another teacher influencer who put me on an online EFL map is Miguel Míguez (@onthesamepagelt). Whenever I need to find some good lesson plans, I end up on his website On the same page. His website is an endless source of classroom ideas. I think Miguel is best known for his Facebook page, though. I believe so far, two of my blog posts were on his radar and got promoted on his page. Thanks to him, many people found out about my blog and became regulars.
Teachers on WordPress
It’s almost impossible to find one or two EFL teachers who blew my mind this year. Everyone is great and unique. Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I tend to miss a blog post or two every now and then. If I have to pick from the posts that I saw this year, there is a certain post that comes to my mind.
Pete from ELT Planning (@eltplanning) posted Where do my materials writing opportunities come from? in which he talked about, you guessed it, his writing opportunities! I read it and started dreaming that maybe one day, I will reach the same level and receive some opportunities to write a short lesson plan. Besides this post, there are many other posts and lesson plans, so click and check it out for yourselves.
Another person who never ceases to amaze me is Svetlana (@ELT_CATION) from ELT-cation. I always look for new activities to use in my classroom. That’s why when I saw her 12 5-minute vocabulary revision activities, I knew she would be on my list. I used this post to implement quick vocabulary revisions at the beginning of my lessons. However, she’s more known for teaching tutors how to create their courses and build their websites. If you are at the beginning of your online teaching/presence journey, give her a follow -you won’t regret it.
Ever since I joined an online teaching platform, I ditched a Microsoft Calendar and switched to a Google Calendar, as it is just easier to use. It synchronizes to all my accounts and books any open spots for me. I have a widget calendar on my phone, so I can quickly check my next class, and so far I haven’t missed even one lesson, so I guess it’s been my little success this year.
I also moved away from my Instagram account and focused on Twitter. I find it a much better tool to socialise with EFL teachers all over the world. Unfortunately, despite a good following on Instagram, I felt like I was interacting with bots. The number of followers didn’t reflect under my posts. This was quite discouraging and ultimately lead to my account being permanently closed.
In February, I also started teaching on an online platform called Preply and quickly got students over there. Despite its flaws, I wouldn’t have made it this far without it. It gave me a chance to become a group tutor, which I talked about in Group lessons on Preply. The format of teaching has changed, but I remained the group tutor in a new format. I think that one of my resolutions for this year is to put a bit more energy and effort into creating group courses, as it also brings me a lot of content to the blog.
Here are my stats and favourite things about 2022. This year has been revolutionary for me and showed me that if I put my mind to something, anything is possible. I think I should keep the ball rolling, and aim for four blog posts a month (I’m sure I will regret those words later!). Thank you for another year with me, and let’s see what will happen in 2023!
Happy New Year and hope to see you around!