Cool goings-on

It’s been a while… yet again… Various things have kept me away from the blog over recent times, the main and most exciting of which was the birth of my second son.

As ever, there have been many things I wanted to blog about but just couldn’t find the time for. A lot of them have remained as snippets in my blogging brain so what better way to bring them together than in a belated response to Michael Griffin’s ‘Cool Things’ blog challenge.

Cool waters - Image by @asalinguist via eltpics

First, a couple of caveats: Mike’s original post and challenge focused on events from the past day but mine, following a lengthy absence from blogging, will cover the last several weeks; also, due to the birth of my son and spending some time away from work, some of the cool things are baby-related (but most have a link of some sort to language learning as well.

Anyway, here goes:

  • So much for the language barrier - I passed my theory driving test (taken in Turkish) with only one wrong answer, outscoring all of my native-speaker classmates in the process.
  • I then proceeded to pass the practical test first time and (perhaps the biggest achievement of all) I successfully negotiated the bureaucratic process of actually getting hold of my licence.
  • Birth, the miracle of life - all very cool indeed.
  • Even when my new son was just a few hours old, I noticed a flicker in his eyes as I talked to him and he seemed to recognise that I was somehow speaking differently to everyone else around.
  • I listened as my older son brilliantly explained to his little sibling how to pronounce our family name using Turkish phonics, something I have made a mental note of for the next time I encounter someone saying ‘Dadson’ or ‘Dogson’ instead of ‘Dodgson’.
  • Witnessing my older (seven year old) son challenge an answer in one of his text books even though the teacher and answer key both said it was right. He had his own interpretation and stuck to it.
  • Having an official government inspector sit in on my class the very first lesson I was back after paternity leave wasn’t so cool but finding out that when using ‘internationally produced and published’ text books, the teachers’ book is acceptable in place of a lesson plan was (especially great for someone like me who hasn’t planned a lesson for years!)
  • Class Dojo is still having a positive effect with most of, if not all of, my classes.
  • One of my most difficult students has now calmed down considerably and is now trying to actively participate in lessons.
  • I submitted my first ever book proposal. Hoping for a positive response to come back.
  • Some PLN initiatives such as eltpics and The Round were nominated for ELTons - big thumbs up to both.
  • I wrote my first blog post for several weeks - feels good to be back.
  • Hopefully, I can keep a regular flow of posts coming now. Smile


  1. Again, major congratulations! 7 year difference? Wow.

    I have to agree with you (and thanks to Adam), Class Dojo has good effects on classroom behaviour, even of of 1st year students.

    1. Thanks Tyson. I have plans to blolg about Class Dojo in more detail soon. Watch this space :)


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