December 27, 2013


I've been tagged in a blogging meme Eleven by my dear friend Arjana Blažić.

This is how the challenge works: 
  • acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • list 11 bloggers.
  • post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
11 random facts about me
  1. My two sons are two most important persons in my life.
  2. I like to read or watch a good mystery
  3. I love growing my own herbs. 
  4. One of my New Year's resolutions every year is to start a new diet.
  5.  I am thinking seriously of changing no. 3 because it never works.
  6. I love teaching in a school in my neighbourhood.
  7. I  have found out why a number of old age pensioners  I sometimes meet in my neighbourhood say hello like they know me when we meet: they sometimes bring their grandchildren to school. Their grandchildren are not in any of my classes and it took me some time to realize who they are. 
  8. I am not very sporty but I love swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  9. If I lived somewhere on the coast I'd try to go swimming all year round like I see some people do. I envy them a little. 
  10. I believe virtual worlds can be used for learning a foreign language. I even have a certificate for teaching in Second Life. 
  11. I like planning  both teaching and other activities even if I know I am not going to stick to the plan. Planning makes improvisations more fun. 
My answers to Arjana's questions: 

1) What is your favourite book?
I don't think it is one book. When I read a book, even if I don't like it at first, I keep reading to see what's in it for me.

2) How much time on an average day do you spend online?
Much more than I would like to confess.

3) iPad or Android tablets?
There is an Android, usually somewhere around the living room, but I almost never use it.

4) What do you consider the most valuable thing you own?
I don't care much about how valuable things are as long as they serve the purpose and I like them.

5) What is your favourite way to waste time?
Lying in the sun with a paper book in hand

6) If a movie was being made about you who would you choose to play you and why?
Too difficult to imagine :)

7) If you could have an endless supply of food what would that be?
Fresh fruit – nicely arranged in big bowls or baskets, none the same as the previous

8) What's the best holiday you've been on?
I guess it was when I was a child and used to spend a week or so with parents, brother and sister on a boat or a campsite next to the most beautiful sand beach. I miss the peace and quiet and the simple life of the time that is hard to find nowadays.

9) What's the worst haircut you've ever had?
It was when I decided to stop dying hair and to keep it short and grey like it is now. My hairdresser showed a lot of inventiveness and a lot of people actually thought I wanted my hair to be in two almost opposite colours. I knew the truth and thought it was awful.

10) What three things do you love most about your best friend?
easy-going, honest and positive

11) What is your favourite smell and what memory does it remind you of?
Lemon tree in blossom  - I find myself opening the window in the morning in my parents' house. It smells great and I remember it combined with the picture of a beautiful tree and the blue sky.  I try to find it in perfumes and other cosmetic products because it makes me calm and happy. 

Thank you, Arjana, for tagging me and for this very interesting set of questions.

My set of participants - I tag: 

And I'm looking forward to your answers to my 11 questions: 
  1. What are you going to do differently in the new year ( at least during the first month)?
  2. If you could get a free ticket to any destination in the world, where would you like to go?
  3. If you could choose to live all year in one season, would you choose winter or summer?
  4. What do you find hardest to teach your students?
  5. What do you like about the space where you teach (your classroom)?
  6. Which  is most important quality  you look for in a community of practice you belong to
  7. If you weren't a teacher, what would you do?
  8. What is the best way to share what you learn about teaching?
  9. What do you never go to work without?
  10. Can you think about and share one thing that people usually don't know about the part of the world where you live?
  11. If Santa was to bring you only one gadget you can use for teaching or in your free time, what would you wish for?

 Happy holidays everybody!

Three most important elements of CoPs

I have been asked to write three most important reasons that make me appreciate a community of practice, why I find some communities more useful to my needs as a teacher than others. 

I believe that three main elements that are essential in a CoP are:

  • It is a group of people coming from various backgrouds, with various levels of expertise in teaching, both mentors and mentees. It is important because it makes it possible to see every problem from different angles and get different perspectives. Every discussion is more fruitful.
  • The atmosphere is the one of collaboration and sharing, the willingness to help and ask for help. Even if there are differences in age and expertise, teachers don't feel they will be asking a stupid question if there is anything they need help with. 
  • Most of the teachers are active. They care about the community and believe in the power of the community: projects are started, surveys done, papers read and discussed, members comment on one another's blogs and it is easy to get feedback. 
These are my two cents :)

I am looking forward to reading other teachers' opinions.