Musings About the Year Past – Wishes for the New One

Words from the year that's almost over...


As a new year approaches it is seems  inevitable to look back to what happened in 2010, acknowledge what we did right and hope for more fo those in 2011 and at the same time be humble to admit what we that didn’t really work the way we had planned it to – and hope for improvement in the coming year. So my last post of the year will be a reflective one.


2010 brought a lot of big changes to my life, on both personal and professional areas of my life.  Changes can be a very scary thing, but it usually means development. And I choose to look at the changes that I went through this year as that: an opportunity for development. In the first semester, the restructuring of the handbooks we use for the High Intermediate groups in ABA (the school I work at) was finally finished. As the leader of that project, along with a fantastic teacher and great friend, Roberta Ferraz, I was very pleased to see them being used in class and getting the positive feedback of the other teachers as they came to use them. Of course it’s not perfect, and we’re changing what doesn’t work as we see it. but overall it’s been a great change. Getting positive feedback on something you developed/put together is an amazingly rewarding feeling and it was a big plus in my year.


Taking part in the 12th Braz-Tesol Convention in São Paulo was a big highlight as well. Being there, meeting people, attending fantastic presentations / talks / plenaries, overcoming fears and presenting. What I saw there, what I heard and talked about, the people I met and connections I made gave a breath of fresh air, great motivation to venture new paths, trust myself more, go back to studying, experimenting, researching… I came back to Recife and started a new semester completely refreshed. It’s amazing what a good conference and sharing with people from other places, other cultures, other contexts can do to motivate you.


And then, in the second semester of 2010, when I came back from São Paulo I discovered what a PLN was and started building my own, connecting and sharing and learning from educators (and especially English teachers) from all over this diverse world we live in. And what a fantastic ride it’s been. Learning about new tools, participating in my first webinar, experimenting in my classes with things I learned from my PLN friends, reading so many amazing blogs, starting my own blog, being nominated for best new blog in the Edublog Awards (and being chosen the first runner-up among an incredible list of blogs), learning, sharing, learning, sharing… Then, having the fabulous opportunity of beginning the new year taking part in a Teacher Professional Workshop in England, offered by Berni Wall and having a chance to reflect upon my practice with teachers from all over the world (not to mention meeting two of my favorite PLN members: Berni and Shelly Terrell!!!). I had never, in my wildest dreams, thought the year could turn out so well. And in great part, I owe that to my PLN, so here’s my big THANK YOU to the incredible group of people I follow on Twitter.


So what to expect from the new years that is just around the corner? I can only hope. Hope I can continue sharing and developing with (and through) my PLN. Hope that I can experiment and find even better ways of teaching my students and help them learn English, to make it a tool for improvement and development in their own lives. Hope that I can make my way to IATEFL in Brighton in April and meeting a big part of my PLN there, learn lots from them and others who will be presenting there, continue reflecting, always knowing we never know enough, we can ALWAYS do better. I hope my children continue to grow the healthy, happy, healthy children they are now. That I will be able to continue and get more serious about my professional development, take part in courses I plan to, continue my education. But most of all, I hope 2011 brings peace. I hope it brings peace and understanding to the world. As I interact on twitter with people of the most diverse places, faiths, upbringings, beliefs it never ceases to amaze me that no matter where we come from, what we believe in, we connect, interact, progress together, learn from each other, respect each other. And it makes me wonder why we can’t have that not only on twitter and within our PLN, but also throughout the world, among governments and peoples. As cheesy as it sounds, that’s my wish for the new year. So I’ll finish this post with a poem by Francisco Gomes de Matos, a great peace linguist, who I am fortunate to know and work with, for he is the president of my school’s board. Always good to reflect about peace and tolerance in my opinion. And no more appropriate time for that than now, as we start a new year – fresh slate perhaps?

 After all, we all have a right to peace. And maybe, as educators, we can try and bring  a little peace and tolerance teaching to our classes. Teachers have great influence, we might as well use it to make the world a better place :-)


THE RIGHT  TO PEACE :A Nonkilling  view

by  Francisco Gomes de Matos


When the Right to Peace is  stated
How does Humankind usually feel ?
Do human beings show they are elated
or do they expect  something real ?

The Right to Peace  two major dimensions cover:
One that is spiritualizing :

 Meditation, in which paths to  tranquility we may discover;

 another,that is  conciliatory: Mediation


The Right to Peace entails a very demanding obligation:
That to Dignity and Justice,

all Humankind should be committed

Of the Principle of Nonviolence,

 helping the propagation and educating

 so that forms of life-killing are not permitted


How can the Right to Peace be universally  achieved?
This also calls  for socioeconomic-political transformation

 In which the benefits of equality by all are received

 and people violating peace will have nonkilling preparation

The Right to Peace on Earth let´s firmly globalize

So that by conflicts and wars,

less and less people will be harmed

 As appliers of the Right to Peace,  let´s harmonize

 And one day,in a nonkilling future,all nations will be disarmed


Happy Holidays everyone. I’ll be traveling to the UK this week, meeting some of the fab members of my PLN (Yay!) before the new year comes and then on to Berni’s workshop, where I expect I’ll be able to get back to posting. Until then, I hope you enjoy the season!


12 comments on “Musings About the Year Past – Wishes for the New One

  1. Vicky Loras says:

    Hi Ceci!

    What a great post – so wonderful you have enjoyed this year, both on a personal and professional level! My warmest wishes for another super year for you on all levels in 2011!

    This has been a great year for you – you started your blog, on Twitter, you are the First Runner-Up for Best New Blog in the Edublog Awards…we are all so proud of you! Congratulations and wishing you more success in the new year! I am so happy to have connected with you this year : )


    • Hi Vicky!!!

      Thank you for all the friendship, love and support you always give me. For me you are one of the greatest examples of the kind of great positive professionals we find on twitter. It has been a delightful part of my year connecting with you. And I hope to meet you in Brighton!!!


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Janet Bianchini. Janet Bianchini said: RT @cecilialcoelho "Musings about the Year Past" – lovely reflections. Have a fab 2011, Cecilia! #efl #esl […]

  3. Good things come your way because you have the right attitude! have sa fe trip and get some rest too!

    • Hi Naomi!

      Thanks for such a lovely compliment! As you may have noticed it took me quite a while to reply to your comment, because I am traveling and not only wi-fi can be quite difficult to find but also time seems even more scarce than before. But I’m trying to catch up a bit. Rest is on the agenda too, thanks!!!! :-) Have a great 2011!

  4. Leahn says:

    Hi Cecilia,

    It sounds like you had a great year on both levels. Good for you! I hope 2011 is even better.

    Wishing you and yours health and happiness,


    • Thank you so much Leahn… 2010 sure was a great year, and I hope 2011 is even better. If this beginning is any indication of what’s to come, it will be fantastic!
      All the best to you and yours in this new year as well.


  5. seburnt says:

    It’s been a huge year of change for me too (though so were 2008 and 2009) in unexpected, but eventually good ways. I’m glad to have begun getting to know you and the others in my growing PLN. Have a great new year!

    • Hi Tyson!!!

      We seem to have had very similar years :-) Hope things continue going in a good direction, for both of us. It has been really great (both on a professional and personal level) getting to know you and others in the PLN, straightening connections and developing, reflecting together. Hope to do lots more of that in 2011! :-)

  6. Chuck says:


    I love this post! By reading through your reflection of the year I too began to reflect as well. Many of the things you discussed I have gone through as well. I began developing my PLN early in the year and it has been an amazing journey that continues to take me places I never imagined. I love having you in my PLN and it is so great to hear of the amazing things going on in Brazil.

    Also, if you don’t mind, I would love to use this blog post as a “model” post for my students. I love how you used a variety of text features and modes in it. I would love them to see how they can begin with a Wordle, move to the post, and even put poetry in the blog if it enhances the point!

    Again, thanks for posting this and I look forward to reading more :)

    Chuck (@cpoole27)

    NJ USA

    • Hi Chuck!!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the reflection. I guess we all (teachers or not) become a bit reflective around this time of the year. But reflecting can be such a positive thing!!!Because it allows change and improvement, seeing what worked and should continue and what didn’t and needs to be changed. Of course I don’t mind you using this post as a model to your students!!! I’m flattered by it! :-)

      Have a great 2011 Chuck!


  7. […] post by Cecilia Lemos var addthis_language = 'en'; Filed under Uncategorized ← Οι […]

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