The Sunshine Award

Ah, Michael Douglas’s speech was quite funny! haha! Like he said, it’s a two-hander in accepting this award. I sincerely thank Miss Katie from English Expressions blog for nominating my own for the Sunshine Award. English Expressions blog has some wonderful tips for teachers and students! If people want to learn idioms, grammar, and other nifty stuff, check it out!


I enjoy the community that teaching abroad and ESL has built over the years. Blogs pop all the time from new and old teachers, and each one with something to add or share. People from all over the world can learn something new, or brush up on some old stuff. The World Wide Web is full of useful, humorous, and sometimes crappy stuff, so it’s good to find what’s relevant to your needs as a reader! Anyways, on with the ceremony.

So, like a few other awards that circulate among bloggers (i.e. The Liebster Award), there are a few “rules” attached. It reminds me of those chain-letters we used to send to each other when we were kids 20+ years ago.

The Guidelines:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Can I thank you enough?!)
  2. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate a few other bloggers.
  4. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you nominated.
  5. Notify the bloggers on their blog.
  6. Put the award button on your blog.


Questions & Answers:

1. Why did you first get involved in blogging?

I enjoy writing. While I’m not an adept creative writer (though it’s a small dream of mine to publish a novel sometime in my life), I am skilled at boring academic writing (thanks to my psychology program). After moving abroad to teach, I thought about starting a blog, but I knew I wasn’t a person to write about my daily life (it would be the dullest blog ever). So, after a few years of teaching, I thought I found something I feel I can write about. I wanted to not just write, but contribute to the ESL field and help other teachers who are starting their careers in the field (It’s been BOOMING over the past decade or so). After feeling I can write with some authority and knowledge in the topic, I started my blog, So, You Think You Can Teach ESL? back in 2012.

2. What is your biggest success?

Hmm… That’s a great question. For myself, I think my biggest success is developing a variety of skills in different subject areas, and being able to adjust to adversity in the workplace. I also think I’ve been successful in developing lasting friendships with my coworkers, and strong professional relationships them as well. I don’t consider myself the greatest teacher; I still have much to learn and change before I can claim the title of “GTK”. But for me, being successful is working hard through the tough times and caring for students regardless of my own shortcomings.

3. What’s one thing that should be taught in music that isn’t already?

I was involved in music from the time I was 8 years old, all through university. I was the school band and choirs and also took private lessons. My music classes had all the typical stuff: chords, notes, rhythms, time and key signatures, and the different accent marks (staccato, slur, etc.)  and volume cues (pianissimo – fortissimo). Those things are important, they’re the fundamentals. I think that teachers should introduce different styles of music (classical, rock, jazz, hip-hop, etc.) and world music (traditional Asian, Indian, African, etc.). At the elementary level, the teacher should just play short clips and have students listen to and/or dance to the different beats. At the secondary level, the teacher can get into more depth with each style in regards to the instrumentation, performers, notation, etc., to prep students for the collegiate level should they choose to take a college music course.

4. How would your students describe you?

I think my students would describe me as strict, caring, knowledgeable, and also fun. I love doing hands-on stuff if/when I get the chance, show relevant videos, and think of fun activities. I also am strict in how I want my students to act in class. If I see any sort of misbehavior, I stamp that out quickly. One student said that when I’m happy, it’s easy to see, and when I’m angry, it’s easy to see. My students like to play with me outside of class, but know when I’m serious, too.

5. Do you prefer tablets or books when reading?

I’m old school. I love paper books. The look, feel, smell, sound of that page turning, it’s so great! Tablets are nice, too, but they just don’t beat look of print. Tablets are very convenient though, because you can store hundreds or thousands of books on one device. It surely beats lugging around tons of books. I like tablets, but I can’t stare at a screen for a long time. My eyes prefer to look at print 🙂

6. What is your ultimate, ‘get pumped up’, song?

I have so many songs I could mention. It depends on what I’m doing, I guess. I love many songs from different genres, from pop to hip-hop, from heavy metal to classic rock, and even some instrumental stuff. No country, though, sorry guys. I can’t choose just one song, so I’ll give you two:



7. What’s one thing that you wish you could say to others teachers, and what’s your message to me as your fellow blogger?

One thing I’d like to say to other teachers is this: DON’T GIVE UP! Whenever you feel stressed, or that lesson didn’t go as planned (a frequent thing for many teachers), or your principal or parents are on your back, keep on truckin’! If we let our failures or stress get the best of us, how can we expect our students to overcome their own?

To Miss Katie from English Expressions, thank you again. I am so glad to have found your blog and connect with you! I love talking with other teachers, sharing content, and having other professionals I can relate to! Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing what you publish in the future! 😀

Other Bloggers I’d Like To Nominate:

 Lard Wants World Peace is a fantastic blog that features a comic about a character named Lard. Lard often shares simple tips and advice for life. I love each comic as it makes me think about how to cut out all the junk (as a Buddhist, I need to do that more often anyways), and enjoy life.

How Can I Control My Class written by Mrs. Dorsey, is a wonderful blog! It has lots of helpful articles, tips, and other fun things for teachers to read. Mrs. Dorsey is an experienced teacher and somebody other teachers (like myself) can learn a lot from.

Thoughtful Teaching has posts that make you think. Some posts are rants, others are reflections. The author discusses issues teachers face in the classroom. From administrative problems to standardized testing, from talking about interactions with students to sharing ideas, there’s always something interesting to read!

An Irish Girl in Korea is written by another teacher here in SK. She’s been teaching in Korea for five years so far and often posts about food, life, school, and other things while living here in the Land of the Morning Calm. I enjoy reading her posts (as well as many others from teachers here in Korea), since I can often relate to them in some way. It’s fun to read about experiences from other teachers here in South Korea!


My Own Questions For Nominees

  1. How do you deal with stress?
  2. What’s your go-to snack?
  3. Which teacher [of yours] made a profound impact on your life?
  4. What’s the silliest, craziest, weirdest thing you’ve heard a student say?
  5. Who is your favorite actor/actress and why?
  6. If you wrote a self-help book, what would it be about?
  7. What advice can you give to teachers (new and old)?

I look forward to reading the responses these bloggers write! 🙂

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Filed under Awards, Blogging, English, ESL, Teaching

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