Skip to content

11 posts I wish I’d written

Previously, it was all about looking back at my journey this year through my favourite 11 posts, but that journey is much more than just my blog, it’s path is woven through the winding, twisting, infuriating and inspiring blogosphere out there.  This review of 2011 is made up of blog posts that members of my PLN wrote that I wish I’d written, but I didn’t and am eternally jealous.

The zombie apocalypse and its role in the ELT classroom by Adam Simpson     
With the Walking Dead entertaining us with hours of character development (and some bloody disgusting zombie destruction) on TV, my appreciation for the brain-loving undead forced my eye to catch Adam’s superb ideas surrounding a choose-your-own-adventure zombie youtube video, a format I’d never seen before this.

The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators #30Goals by Shelly Sanchez Terrell    
Pushing teachers out of their comfortable ruts is an enviable challenge. With her incredible efforts and enthusiasm (short term goal, long term goal, podcast, video), Shelly inspired educators everywhere including several of my posts this year.  Plus, they gave her a reason to visit me in Toronto.

My (initial) two cents on Assessing students… by Cecilia Lemos    
Though I’ve never fully believed in standardised tests like TOEFL or TOEIC thanks to years watching Korean private language schools teach the test not the language, Cecilia’s post about e-folios pushed the debate further and gave me that push to try out portfolios in my own program. This is what is supposed to happen from a post–real change.

my FAVORITE etymology EVER [1-min blog blast] by Brad Patterson    
One of my favourite skills to practice with students is connection building. Another is vocabulary building. I envy anyone who is proficient in more than one language and a deep understanding of how words across languages are related. Brad’s passion for etymology is infectious and this post that connects intelligent with collectivism and logic is an epitome of connection and vocabulary building.

Gavin Dudeney’s comment on his post On PLNSs by Gavin Dudeney    
There is a certain you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours love fest within the blogging environment. There also tends to be a fear of criticising, even if constructively, PLN’s lessons, activities and posts.  Where once the Internet was filled with anonymous (and misguided) courage, now taking responsibility for comments can suppress real professional growth. This comment, even more than the post itself, is often something I’ve felt.

Presenters in peril – is Twitter to blame??!!! by Jeremy Harmer    
Aside from the sheer number of comments on this post–a dream of any blogger to inspire such diverse dialogue–being a relatively new conference presenter and keynote speaker, the quandary of my talks being recorded or posted in some way has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Though I think I’d be flattered if someone tweeted my talk concurrently, I’m at the newbie end here.  Read the dialogue that follows the post for some great insight from many speakers.

Willing to share but not willing to pay for the privilege by Dave Dodgson    
Among several other reasons that I dislike certain large ELT organisations is the fact that at their conferences, presenters are not only unrewarded with any honoraria, but in fact must pay regular registration fees.  Because of Dave’s post, I’ve realised that this is usual, even though the board that I sit on, TESL Toronto, does the opposite. Why is sharing so often unrewarded unless you’ve got a book under your belt?

An urban tale by Ceri Jones    
I couldn’t have written this post because I didn’t know this activity exactly, but it’s one that really caught my attention because of its collaborative and narrative nature. Ceri has given many activities in her posts, but this ‘trapped in an elevator’ premise is real enough to elicit powerful and personal writing.

Five minutes to live — lesson plan by Mike Harrison    
To be honest, I feel like I’d favourited this video before Mike’s post, but I couldn’t figure out from where, so I’m just going to go with the idea that it was Mike who found it first.  It’s one of the most powerful videos I’ve ever seen and his lesson that goes with it is one that brings up a lot of ideas for ways to use it.

If “Google” is translating then I’ll start revamping by Naomi Epstein via Vicky Loras    
Naomi makes the point that you shouldn’t fight the technology, but work with it to make your lesson planning more effective–an approach to a common complaint that is more affirmative and productive than most others I’ve read.

What exactly is the round? by Lindsay Clandfield via the round    
I’ve been involved in the publishing industry from the retail side and gained a lot of experience with who the big publishers are as well as intimate exposure to the truly helpful and true crap they put out. I’ve always wanted to contribute to the former and even came close to collaborating in a new publishing company myself, but ultimately, what there’s a mass market for and what will sell is more important than what I’m passionate about.  This is why the round’s birth intrigues me so much, because it’s heading in a different direction and promises niche titles for a niche market (not to mention the whole mentorship gloriousness).

So, you little inspiring monsters, continue to write out your thoughts and don’t let anything stop you.  I’ll try to do these equal justice so I don’t have to make a post like this again next year. 😉

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brad Patterson

What a great idea, Ty. Now you’ve got me thinking of which posts made me jealous 😉


This is a really great idea. Anything which emphasizes quality over popularity can only be a good thing. I’m honoured to have been mentioned among your eleven.

Time for a bit of reflection on what others have read, me thinks.


I’ll echo Brad and Adam by saying ‘great idea’. I think I’ll take a few days to browse my favourite blogs and pick a few out. 🙂

And thanks for including my post – an honour to be in your 11.

Shelly Terrell

Hi Tyson,

What a great list of posts to revisit from the past year of our PLN! I also like your twist to this challenge. I am jealous of a few of your posts like the Soundcloud post, your 30 goals post on burnout and the one where you filmed your students, Adding mystery to your language class, and many more.

Naomi Epstein

What a marvellous idea! I’m honoured to be included in the list and am itching to start reading those posts I had missed this year.
Althought you didn’t write these posts your choices reflect what interests you and I’m very happy to read what interests you.
Questions about some of them on the way…


Some great posts here and I like this idea.I wonder how all these posts affected you and your blogging/teaching?


Isaac Rubio

Great list! You’ve given me a good source of materials to read and reflect on! 🙂

11 posts I wish I’d written via @seburnt Fascinating stuff – check it out! #eltchat

11 great posts on one great blog @seburnt

What a fab selection, Tyson =) thanks for the support! Rt @seburnt 11 posts I wish I’d written #ELTchat

Christmas break reading for me is Thanks @seburnt

Really gr8 post to read – actually includes many of my own 2011 faves: 11 posts I wish I’d written via @seburnt

[…] missed the original post in June, only picking up on it via Tyson Seburn’s 11 posts I wish I’d written  in December, but it is a truly inspired way of teaching speculative language – mainly […]

[…] missed the original post in June, only picking up on it via Tyson Seburn’s 11 posts I wish I’d written  in December, but it is a truly inspired way of teaching speculative language – mainly focusing […]

[…] was spread about this teaching idea via Tyson Seburn’s 11 posts I wish I’d written  in December, but it is a truly inspired way of teaching speculative language – mainly focusing […]

[…] When the search for “the end” is only the beginning June 26th, 2012 | by ka edong | What’s truly behind the wish? (image via Tyson Seburn) […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x