PictureSpring in Seoul means cherry blossom everywhere!
It's a beautiful spring day here in Seoul and whilst sitting outside, enjoying a choco-fudge ice cream (unbeatable at only 700won/70 cents/40 pence), and watching the 3rd grade boys show off their finest football skills in a bid to impress the watching 3rd grade girls, I got thinking about how my involvement with English language education had changed in just the past 18 months. 

What seemed to be a clear catalyst for many of the changes was my accidental uptake of twitter for professional networking. I never actually meant to use twitter for professional networking (I believe I initially created the account to let Joey Barton know about my particular disdain for him). The professional networking started happening when I began following one or two other teachers here in Korea. From there it began snowballing, and my twitter feed eventually became the network of educators around the world it is now.

PictureIt's good to talk!
So here are a few things from the past 18 months that may not have happened if it weren't for twitter:

I may not have started this blog. Actually, I didn't really know what a blog was until some were linked in my twitter feed.

I probably wold not have met someone who I now consider my mentor and friend, Mike Griffin.

I definitely would not have presented at three (or any for that matter) conferences.

I definitely would not have been involved with #KELTChat and therefore may not have met people who I now consider colleagues and more importantly friends, to name just a few AlexAnneJosetteGemma and John.

I may not have jointly started the ESL Learners Output Library with John, a project we are still working and presenting on.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have begun this morning's lesson by throwing a ball to my students and asking them questions that reviewing last week's class. In fact, I wouldn't be doing a lot of things I do in class that I have learnt from other educators around the world.

I may not have kept my job when one of the two teachers here had to leave for budget reasons last year.

I definitely would not be as involved or passionate about reflective practice as I am now.

I almost certainly would not have been able to offer my after school class the opportunity to communicate with students in Brazil and Japan.

Finally, as a personal shout out to a friend who is having his wedding party tomorrow, I would most probably would not have been invited to the wedding of two really awesome people, Manpal and his beautiful wife Rachelle!

So what is my point? To be honest I'm not too sure. I know that my point isn't that we should all be sat on twitter 24/7, especially on beautiful spring days like today and extra-especially when there are choco-fudge ice creams available at such reasonable prices. Actually, I'm not really sure I had a particular point in mind when I started writing this, so, with Friday evening fast approaching, I think I might just live on the wild side and leave this blog post without a point! 

I would love to hear from you (either in the comments or on your own blog) about things that have changed for you  thanks to your professional network.

Have a wonderful weekend!

18/04/2013 20:49

Aptly put, Alex. I most certainly wouldn't have come across yours or any number of amazing teachers in Korea blogs. I wish this community of yours had been visible while I taught in Seoul.

Alexander Walsh
19/04/2013 00:59

Hi Tyson, I agree that this is a really great for being an ELT in Korea, some amazing people around and things going on. I am still very envious of the sheer scope of what is happening in Europe though!

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment mate, it's appreciated!

20/04/2013 05:18

You made many points in your blog post, Alex, and all of them important. I think I need to create a post like this of my own - there are just too many 'Things that may not have happened if I didn't use twitter', even 'Things that WOULD not have happened if I didn't use twitter' for a comment :-)


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