My Box of Chocolates is a year old today – hope there’s no expiration date !!!!

Happy 1st Blogaversary!!!

A year has passed… wow. My first post (after some incentive from Jason Renshaw and Ceri Jones, for which I’ll be forever grateful) was written on September 25th, 2010.

In that year I wrote 51 posts (this is the 52nd), had over 30,000 visitors, over 1,000 comments, an eduBlog award for runner-up best new blog and have 70 active subscribers. But this anniversary is so much more than numbers…

It’s about connectedness…about finding like-minded teachers all over the world, most of them I would never have the chance to interact with / even meet face-to-face had it not been for Twitter and the blogosphere. I have learned from reading their blog posts, comments to blog posts and tweets. I have learned from them by taking part in webinars they presented. I have learned. I have changed the way I teach in some aspects, I have incorporated new practices in my lessons, I have experimented much, trying to find better ways to do the same things or only validate the way I was doing things.

I found a place where I feel okay and safe to vent, to share what I feel and think about my teaching… a place to share activities I create, activities I adapt; what worked – and perhaps more importantly, didn’t – in the classroom with my students. I found a place to share my insecurities and shortcomings, and not feel bad about them. Instead, after sharing, all I got was support and people who have/had been through the same experiences. I felt less alone. And other teachers felt less alone as well. It’s a great thing to realize many of us go through the same challenges and doubts, we all feel down and insecure now and then, we all feel a bit lost once in a while.

And for all that I have said, the friends I’ve made because of it, the new-found confidence my readers have given me… I am thankful. May the next year be even more fruitful, hopefully being able to blog more often and continue connecting through here. I wish I could send a box of chocolate as a thank you to each of you. :-) You make a difference.

35 comments on “My Box of Chocolates is a year old today – hope there’s no expiration date !!!!

  1. Ah, you have a special magic – your chocolates remain fresh even as time passes!
    Yours was one of the very first blogs I discovered when I just discovered the world of blogging (and I wasn’t even on twitter yet, I think). The awesome name caught my eye (I will admit to being a tad jealous!) – what a great hook!
    you have kept me addicted to your blog despite the fact (and this is the real truth) that I am allergic to chocolate!!!!
    happy blogathaday!

    • And may these chocolates remain not only unspoiled by time but also be like fine wine: only get better with time!

      I have always loved that line from “Forrest Gump” and after a little bit of thinking on what should I name the blog, it came to me :-) Am happy to share with you! And now am proud to be the one type of chocolate you’re not allergic to!

      Thanks for the never-ending support! :-)

  2. Sandy Millin says:

    Hi Ceci,
    like Naomi, yours was one of the first blogs I read. I can’t believe it’s only been around for a year. i’ve learnt so much from you in that time and I can’t wait to meet you in person in Paris :) Long may your blog continue.

    • Hi Sandy,

      The best thing about this PLN, Twitter and the blogosphere is that we can honestly say the learning is mutual :-) I remember when you started blogging and then later the fantastic idea of “Infinite ELT Ideas” (note: for those who don’t know it, a fabulous collaborative blog with ideas for lessons and how to use things in the classroom:

      Paris can’t get here soon enough!

  3. Congrats on this anniversary, Ceci!
    For me it was also one of the first blogs I discovered.
    I had the privilege to follow two of your webinars (I was there on your very first one if I remember that correctly) so it adds just that little bit extra for me to read a blog and know what the writer looks and sounds like :-)
    Keep up the good work and celebrate in style today with the finest chocolates you can find!

    • Thanks Mieke!

      I am so flattered that so many teachers that I admire in my PLN had my blog as one of the first blogs they read! And I remember you on my first webinar :-) So thank you for your support in the many platforms ;-). It’s been a great year, in many ways.


  4. Happy blogday to you, happy blogday to you… YEA !!! congrats !

  5. Ceri Jones says:

    Happy blog birthday !!!
    Magic chocolates indeed – may the box remain bottomless :))

  6. seburnt says:

    Happy blogaversary to you! Happy blogaversary to you! Happy blogaversary dearest Box of Chocolates….. Happy blogaversary to you!

    Cheers to many more posts and collaborative tasks. =)

  7. Mike says:

    Happy blogaversary!

    You’re right, this connectedness is such a great thing. It’s truly amazing to be able to share with each other in this way, as you say the successes and the failures, the ideas and the insecurities. And we find that despite being miles and miles apart, and living and working in very different situations, that we are all not so different.

    May the next year be truly chocful =)

    • Being able to share and find that out (that the world may be wide and diverse, but it’s also filled with people who despite any differences have many similarities as well – which makes those distances seem a bit smaller) sure makes us feel less lonely and more motivated, doesn’t it? Knowing that “this” or “that” teacher, who we admire from what we see of their work, also get it wrong and feel insecure, help us feel better and look up to face the next challenge. That’s how I feel.

      Thanks Mike! For the comment and the support, always. :-)

  8. Chiew says:

    Wow! Only a year? Told you, Ceci, you’re a pro! :)
    Hearty congratulations, and may your box remain full always!
    I’ll dm you my address… ;-)

    • There must have been some problem, Chiew…never got the DM with the address ;-) Oh, well… Let us hope we can meet face to face soon so I can deliver that box of chocolates in person.
      Thanks for the constant support!

  9. philb81 says:

    Thanks for this blog… it’s great! This connectedness thing seems amazing when I think back to before I had it….

    You’ve passed the main hurdle…. I’ve started many blogs, to see them dashed by inaction after the original wave of enthusiasm…. so if you can make it to a year, you know that you’ll keep it going… I think Twitter helps with that as well…

    Blogging is so powerful I’m starting to think that all secondary schools should be teaching WordPress – that’s real 21st century literacy

    • Thanks for reading it Phil! ;-)

      I hope you’re right about the first year being the main hurdle… I can’t think about not having my box of chocolates. I just wish I had more time – but this seems to be the story of a teacher’s life, doesn’t it?

      And as for the blogging being in secondary schools… well, I don’t teach at a secondary school, but we have what we call “Tech Projects” for the teen track. Each semester (there are 8 in the teen track) we assign projects involving some tech tool to students. And we teach them how to use the tools (in English) so they can accomplish the task. There are 2 tech projects involving blogs – a more individual one and a collaborative one. So, I have to say, I agree with you! Great minds, eh?


  10. Julie Raikou says:

    Congratulations, Ceci!

    Really looking forward to meeting you F2F in Paris & sharing the finest chocolates we can find!

    See you soon,

  11. […] My Box of Chocolates is a year old today – hope there’s no expiration date !!!! […]

  12. Happy birthday to your blog. I’m so happy to be the reader of it.

  13. Luciana says:

    Congrats Ceci,
    Following your blog, tweets and facebook posts is really something important in my life long learner experience. You’ve been making a difference here! Thanks for being so helpful and sharing in a so sweet way your experiences.

  14. Congrats on the milestone! Keep up the great work.

  15. David Warr says:

    Happy Birthday Choci, there have been some very special moments for me reading your blog over the last year, I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly! Keep our mouths watering, please. David and Lids

  16. Lu and Andrea – Thank you. It means a lot to get such feedback. It makes it all worth it :-)

    David – Thank you!!! I could say the same about your beautiful plants. Thank you for the support, always. And give Lids a big hug from me. Hope to see you two soon! X


  17. Congrats Ceci!!

    Your blog inspires me! Thank you for all the support and all the amazing ideas you post.


    • Thanks Eduuuu!!!!!

      Thank you for all your hot-out-of-the-oven idea too :-) It’s all about the sharing! I am glad to have someone I can interact on a “more regular” basis face to face, who I admire and cherish. #youreallymatter

  18. Happy Blogday to you!

    Great to see your first anniversary roll around… but gosh it seemed to happen quickly, didn’t it?

    You thoroughly deserve all the congrats here in the comments thread and I am proud of being a small influence in getting all of these great thoughts of yours off other people’s blogs (though you continue to do that and it’s great!) and explore them more on your own.

    Here’s to another great year of blogging for you!

    Very best regards,

    The Raven

    • My dear Jason,

      You were a rather big influence in my blogging – both through your own blog and the food for thought and the endless support.

      Thanks for everything.
      Sunny regards,


  19. Tara Benwell says:

    Thanks for all of the great posts this year, Ceci. I knew this was going to be an excellent blog right from the beginning. You have the required passion as both a writer and a teacher. When I met you at IATEFL it was like I already knew you.

    • Thank you Tara!!! And the feeling is/was mutual. It was wonderful meeting and getting to spend time with you at IATEFL. I hope we have more opportunities of doing it soon.

  20. Hey Ceci!
    I really thought you had been on it for more than only a year! :D
    Gota get some tips with you: I created my own blog, yet, haven’t started posting yet! O.o
    Happy blogversary! All the best!!!

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