Reach to Teach Blog Carnival

Here are the articles written for the Reach to Teach Blog Carnival, a monthly series that focuses on providing helpful tips and advice to ESL teachers around the globe.  I’ll be posting a new ESL related article to this blog on the 5th of every month. Check back for more articles, and if you’d like to contribute to next month’s Blog Carnival, please get in touch with Dean at, and he’ll let you know how you can start participating!

I am hosting this month’s blog carnival and the topic is:  “Learn from your mistakes!  What was your worst lesson?  What went wrong? How did you learn from it?

Rebecca Thering – Learning from my mistakes: Taming the little ones

Imagine standing in front of a classroom full of twenty-eight energetic second grade kids, many of whom have anger/emotional issues due to their less-than-ideal home life. Two boys are writing on the chalkboard while another two are chasing each other around the room. Another boy sneaks under your desk in front to hide while his friend stands on a student’s desk and screams. Meanwhile the girls are non-stop chatting away, paying zero attention to you. Oh, and did I mention that these kids only speak Korean, but you only speak English? This is the set up for my worst ESL lessons to date.

I’m a Wisconsin-native currently teaching English at a rural elementary school in South Korea.  My Spanish skills aren’t quite as useful here as they were when I lived in Madrid, which is where my Spanish nickname Rebe (Ray-bay) stuck.  I have an itch to travel, craft, learn, and read – and to make the world a better place!

Jamie Phillips – Never Bring Cookies to a Kindergarten Class

There’s nothing like standing before a room full of scrutinizing students to rankle a person’s confidence and short circuit the brain… but that’s the wonderful thing about teaching: every day, a thousand mistakes, and a thousand ways to get better. Sometimes, willingly taking repeated hits to the ego feels like lunacy. But when it goes well, it’s tremendous.

I’ve been on the road, on and off, for seven years and counting. I’ve backpacked through South America, lived in a caravan in the Australian outback, traveled with my mum in South East Asia, and taught English in Taiwan. I’m currently tutoring high school students and teaching business ESL in Canada. This summer I’m doing a trek to raise money for the Roots and Wings foundation in Kyrgyzstan.

Dean Barnes – Learn From Your Mistakes

Making mistakes in teaching is all part of the learning curve. Teachers aren’t just pumped out of a TEFL course with all of the skills and knowledge base of a teacher that has been doing ESL for 20 years has. This is a skills based industry and we all know that skills aren’t just learnt from a textbook, they need to be planted in a classroom and watered with time. With enough nurturing you watch your teaching skills blossom and flourish. And even then, mistakes can still be made.

My name is Dean, I have been traveling for around 3 and a half years now with a small stint back in my home country. I’m from the UK and I began my teaching career on the island of Bali. I then made the move to Taiwan where I currently reside. Here I have the joy to fulfill my passion for writing by providing ESL/travel related articles to the Reach To Teach website.

Mary Dingley – Mistake Making

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4 Responses to Reach to Teach Blog Carnival

  1. simaroseblossom says:

    This is incredibly helpful. I’m getting ready to go to Spain and teach. Hopefully I’ll be adding to these posts too!

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