Prompted by recent posts on Russian ELT-related social media by my colleagues Vera and Veronika, I want to, no, I need to give myself a gift of self-recognition and appreciation. A pat on the head, and at the same time a gentle nudge and a whisper of promise: Is there something more to these experiences?

I want to look back at my teaching career through the lens of initiatives I undertook in leadership, creative solutions, community building, and overall attempts to bring about change in practice. I want to lay it all out and see what’s on the table. I want to understand how (and if) each of these “projects” demonstrates my passion for change. I want to inspire myself to aspire for more.

Below are my experiments at making a difference, on a small scale, presented in a more or less chronological order.

🌟 In 2007, an undergrad in my final year, I worked full-time at a small private school as one of the two English teachers. My first ever passion project in education was shifting all classes from using old Soviet-style textbooks to the western type that we all know now. The shift involved pitching my idea of curriculum make-over to quite hostile school administration and very supportive parents.

🌟 A new teacher at the Physics faculty, I volunteered to create a website for the English department (note: ugly according to the standards of 2021, but in 2010 seemed alright); I initiated developing various materials for in-house use.

🌟 Within a year of working at a high school in Tokyo, I organized an English library: a couple of shelves, really, but the books moved from dusty boxes to where they belong. I was offered to design and teach an Extensive Reading program – but got a job at Rikkyo.

🌟 For about four years I curated the wonderful iTDi blog, planning monthly blog issues, reaching out to potential authors in and outside of iTDi community, helping to make it work. What a rewarding experience that I’ll never forget!

🌟 For 3 years at Rikkyo I organized and facilitated monthly meetings of a reflective practice teacher group. The sure highlight of my life in Japan!

🌟 As part of the Rikkyo professional development program, I ran a trial in-house peer mentoring program among teachers of our department. Nothing much came out of it for others, I think, but I learnt a lot (+ wrote a paper and gave a meaningful conference workshop).

🌟I was the co-organizer of the awesome ExcitELT Tokyo conference twice. ❤️ Big love, great memories.

🌟 In Vietnam, I start my second year as a coordinator of two subjects while also being a teacher. I create and grow my responsibilities under the conditions of relative freedom (curriculum design, teacher teams coordination, teacher training and support, observations).

I think I’ve done some good things, some meaningful things, I’ve tried.

I know I can do more.

Maybe in 2022?


One thought on “Blooming.

  1. Sandy Millin says:

    This was so lovely to read Anna! It’s so important to recognise all of the wonderful things you’ve done. 🙂

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