Category Archives: ESL

Direct from Switzerland

As a teacher in a private English school, in no way associated with a school board or university, it is okay to receive gifts from students. What I mean is, these gifts are not meant to influence student placement, acceptance, … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, Canada, chocolate, ESL, gifts, students, Swiss, Swiss Army, teaching, Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Brazilian, Anyone?

It is the end of my current teaching session. My students will take their big test next week (CAE) and I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they are all successful.  Seeing as it was the last day, tradition … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, Brazil, ESL, ethnic food, food, food shopping, restaurant, students | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Topics of Conversation…Finally

English teachers, especially new ones, love to talk about grammar and teaching. With the summer upon us and an huge influx of teachers for the busy summer season, things can get loud in the teacher’s room.  The debates about the … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, conversation, ESL, teaching, Toronto, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ten Years Later

The ESL world in Toronto is somewhat of a small world.  It’s either that or I’ve been doing it so long that I have cycled through all the people in the industry.  I think I would rather stay with the … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, coffee, conversation, ESL, friends, friendship, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Student with the Right Idea

Today’s Perfect Moment is a simple one. The only thing unusual about it is that it isn’t about me, but that it stirred some memories in me. During one of the breaks between classes, one of my students “went out … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, chocolate, culture, ESL, making the most out of a situation, snacks, students, Swiss, travel | 1 Comment

Both Sides of the Coin

Friday’s Perfect Moment is special in that it came conveniently packaged with its opposite. It came at me with its one-two punch.  Though I don’t really like gun metaphors, it was a double barrel shotgun blast.  Fortunately, the good came … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, compensation, complaints, compliments, ESL, students, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What Summer Smells Like

One of the things I do moderately well as an ESL teacher is monitor. While the students are talking in groups, or pairs, I can usually pick out their errors over the din of the crowd.  It could be grammar … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, cosmetics, ESL, students, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Unexpected Redemption

On this rain soaked, missed bus, unmotivated student kind of day the need for a Perfect Moment is keenly apparent. The whole purpose of the Perfect Moment is to rescue this rather blah day from itself. On the other hand, … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bus, business, commuting, ESL, food, pizza, weather | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s Elementary

  There’s a certain adrenaline rush when you’re in front of a new class. New teachers will be better acquainted with it than old ones.  They will probably mislabel it fear, but that isn’t a reason to distrust their descriptions.  … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ESL, hard work, school, teaching, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Perfect Moment in Three Parts

Today’s Perfect Moment is broken down into three different things. It would be wrong of me to call them equally perfect, so I won’t.  They were different and might require some time to hash out.  Oddly enough, citing them chronologically … Continue reading

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, compliments, driving, ESL, photography, selfies, sun, teaching, weather, winter | 2 Comments