There’s never a bad challenge when it comes to looking back, making choices and reflecting.  And as the end of year approaches, my inner geek revels in the opportunity to choose my favourites and make lists.  I do it with albums each year and with a nudge from Adam Simpson, I have lined up 11 of my favourite posts from 2011 to give you a full snowy (or rainy) afternoon of reading to make your brain hurt…I mean, be filled with absolute pleasure.

Spending the last 2 hours rereading this year’s posts told a story of a journey this blog and ultimately I have been on, from Shelly Sanchez Terrell’s 30 Goals Challenge in February to online conference experiences at VRT in the spring to administration in the summer and rounding it out in the present to an EAP focus once again. These 11 posts I’ve chosen because the reflection changed how class went from then on, they stirred up a great amount of dialogue or at least one awesome activity that rocked my world was described.

A record of classroom events… 
is one of the first responses I had to Shelly’s 30 Goals.  I love it because it was me being my most transparent about what happens in my classes and it inspired a follow-up post on the discrepancy between expectation and reality.

The lesson plan transformation describes how my attitude toward and practice of lesson planning has evolved over time and was inspired by a Cecilia Lemos’ blog challenge I’d initially turned down because I felt I didn’t have anything worthwhile to contribute.

My Soundcloud redux at the #VRT11 reviews the listening and writing activity suggestions I mentioned during my session at this online conference, using the webtool Soundcloud, which most PLN hadn’t heard of. It’s revolutionary stuff.  Honest.

Influential ideas on my approach to ELT brings in two movies that profoundly affected how I look at the world, tackle problems and ultimately connect to how I approach teaching, a post inspired by a Fiona Mauchline essay.  ;)

My toaster doesn’t make coffee either starts the #FFSpinoff series, where I share a post I’ve come across on my blog-reading evenings, by connecting my own experiences and opinions to it (I need to get back to doing this). This one began with a post by Danika Barker on the (poor) state of education.

NNESTs and NESTs are both ok (unless you’re Bob Dylan) is another #FFSpinoff post, this time in relation to Cecilia Lemos’ post on the acceptance of non-native English speaking teachers both by learners, but also by NNESTs themselves. I try to look at the issue from different perspectives.

Reform Symposium is an important conference model is my open letter to all educators who haven’t yet taken the opportunity to learn from one of the most revolutionary models of idea-sharing around in this century.

We are models, a post thanks to @MargaretAtwood is one of my favourite posts of all time because I’d always wanted to bring together my favourite author’s novels and ELT issues: an excerpt that demonstrates how learners often take different things from us that we realise.  Too bad Ms. Atwood didn’t notice, that I know of.

Are you ready to jump? That’s the burning question I have for all my colleagues who could use an outside push to seriously consider making that leap into change that might be scary, but might also be exactly what you need.

Comprehension is often not what it seems includes an activity I developed (based on previously established concepts) in order to demonstrate to EAP students that just because they can answer a reading question by quoting the text that answers it, they still haven’t shown that they understand the text.

Academic reading circles is the first of three posts on how modified roles and process of literature circles can establish the groundwork for learners moving beyond superficial reading and into a deeper engagement with the meaning and concepts of the texts.


If you’ve sat for a few hours and gone through all the posts you haven’t seen before (hooray!) or if you’ve just skimmed through the titles and descriptions to pick out one or two that appeal to you (yay!), I welcome any comments you might have.  Feel free to tweet me or comment here if you take up this retrospective of your own blogs.

Here are some others who’ve joined this retrospective and given all of us a December’s worth of mostly wonderful reading.

Adam Simpson – 11 from ’11: The best of your posts from this year (blog challenge)

Tara Benwell11 from ’11

Dave Dodgson11 from ’11 (Almost a year in the life of my blog)

Marisa ConstantinidesMy 11 from ’11


Brad Patterson – 11 from ’11 inspired by @yearinthelifeof

Sharon TurnerSHHH it’s a Secret!!!




Leave a comment using FB here or WP below:)

10 Responses to 11 from 11

  1. Adam says:

    Fabulous! My hope for this blog challenge was that it would make it easier for me to catch up on the *best* posts from my favourite bloggers. Mission being accomplished.

    • seburnt says:

      Thanks for giving me a reason to relook at my journey this year through my posts. And then through yours. And then through Dave’s…

  2. […] ‘Keeping Students On Task Online’ by Marina Salsbury Here’s what you think11 from 11 | 4C on 11 from ’11: The best of your posts from this year (blog challenge)Tyson Seburn on 11 from […]

  3. […] as @ayearinthelifeof started a challenge which has already had some pretty groovy response (Marisa, Tyson, Dave) by some of the great bloggers out there. The challenge is simple: choose 11 post from the […]

  4. Hi Tyson,

    I had already read half these before but have now caught up on the other on my long journey this morning.) I loved the reform symposium, I didn’t know about it so thank you.) I agree this challenge does bring out the inner geek but takes you on a reflection journey to rexplore the places you have been either mentally or physically.)

    • seburnt says:

      It’s really an eye-opening experience to copy and past all your posts from 2011 into a WORD document with dates and remember what they’re about and how you felt at the time you wrote them. Very reflective.

      I hope you attend the RSCON next time. =)

  5. […] Sebunt  –  11 from ’11 a collegue teacher and teacher educator fron Canada with great […]

  6. First,
    starting at the top – what a great title picture!
    I was happy to see that I had read a lot of these posts (you didn’t include your simpsons series!). Among my favorites are your “toasters” and “comprehension is not what it seems” perhaps because of the visual analogy on one and the so-relevant topic of the other.
    Your posts are a good example of my claim about blogging and building a virtual PLN – it’s not the classroom setting that matters. your teaching situation is very different from mine and yet I find your blog to be a valuable contribution to be my professional development!
    Keep it up!

    • seburnt says:

      I’m so glad to hear that you still feel my posts are valuable to you and your different context. It’s very true!

      Oh and the Simpsons series isn’t there because they were in mid 2010. =)

      Thanks for being a great part of my PLN, Naomi.

Leave a Reply to Naomi Epstein Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: