Challenges for 2017

Here we are, the holiday season is over so we are now facing seven months of almost uninterrupted work. This is quite exciting, but also scary as I am going to face a number of challenges that will make everything harder. I think I’ll need to have all my ducks in a row if I want to survive these coming few months.

[This post is just a reminder of what awaits me in this new year. In the future I’m going to write something on how I have organised my time and energies to deal with all this.]

Firstly, I am working at our school’s new website and at improving its online presence. This is already demanding in itself, since I do not have any marketing background — all I know on the subject is what I have learned through trial and error while I was self-employed. But to add to the challenge, the management team is expecting quite a lot from this new social media marketing campaign. 😓

In addition to all this, I have been given the role of CELTA support, which means helping our CELTA tutor to organise and sort out some practical aspects of our upcoming courses. This is something I really love doing, but I sometimes feel a bit in over my head.

Then of course there’s Delta: I will be taking the exam for Module 1 in December 2017, which means I still have plenty of time to study… and to forget things! I’m trying to follow Sandy’s tips, but as I already said many times, I worry that while working full time I won’t be able to properly focus for the exam. This is probably the one thing that concerns me the most about this year.

Lastly, I have this blog that I don’t want to neglect. I’d like to post at least once a week, but I’m not sure I will be able to. I think I need to devote some time during my week just to blogging, but other commitments might get on the way.

Apart from these work-related things, I also need/want to:

  • go to Japan to attend a friend’s wedding (highly unlikely, but still possible)
  • go flat-hunting 😫
  • go to a meditation retreat
  • have a life!

Juggling all these activities and doing them properly feels like an inspiring challenge and a daunting task at the same time. So, if you have any tips or suggestions on time management or exam preparation, please feel free to share them with me (here or on Twitter).

I hope your 2017 looks as exciting as mine does! 😄

6 thoughts on “Challenges for 2017”

  1. Hi Giulia,
    Here are the time management tips to complement the Delta ones: 🙂
    I think with the Delta, the best thing to do to start with is to get onto Quizlet. Do a few minutes as part of your daily routine and build up your knowledge of the terminology. Then take one section of the exam per month – you’ve got a year, so you can try a four or five hours each month. You probably don’t need to do it too intensively before about September anyway, because it’s mostly exam technique. If you can do a course to guide you, you’ll probably feel better about it, but you might decide to go it alone. IH Online Teacher Training, Distance Delta and I believe Bell and OxfordTEFL do Module 1 online prep courses.
    With the website, again I would give yourself time limits. It’s a rabbit hole that you can easily get lost down! The management team also need to be realistic – social media may get you a few customers, but it’s unlikely to get you very many at all. In my experience, it’s more there for brand awareness, and customers come from word-of-mouth and building up the reputation of the school.
    I bought a flat last year and was lucky to find one really quickly, but I know it’s not always easy. I’d take away the face after it on your list – positive mental attitude and all that 😉 Try writing yourself a list of criteria first – what do you want from an ideal place to live? Which are the priorities? Which can you live without if you need to? e.g. some of the things I wanted were to have a bath, a balcony, a short walk to work, and to be in a particular area of the city, but I could live without the bath if I had the other things. That meant I knew a bit more about what I was looking for.
    Book your meditation retreat as soon as you can – it’ll give you something to look forward to! I think you’ll need it with such a busy year! I hope you make it to Japan too.
    Good luck with it all and happy new year 🙂

    1. Wow, thanks a lot for all the tips Sandy!
      I’m actually following an online course for module 1, which is of great help. Probably as you said, focusing on key terminology first is the best thing to do.
      As for the rest, I’ll do my best! 😊
      Thanks again.

  2. You can do it, Giulia! Maybe you can incorporate your DELTA studying into your blogging so both get done (and you get comments or feedback from your reflections). Have a wonderful 2017 (and do let me know if you come to Japan!).

  3. Hi Giulia,
    This definitely sounds like a busy year! I can sympathize re the school social media gig, because I did the exact same thing for our school for a while. It made sense though, because I was one of the owners, and we had no money to pay anyone. I didn’t think it was the kind of thing we could (as in ‘had the right to’) assign to one of the teachers, for precisely the reasons Sandy mentions above. I did ask them to help, and to send me anything that could be shared (any links, pics, etc.), but it wasn’t compulsory. When I left for Belgium, I felt I couldn’t keep being in charge of the school website and social media accounts (it was only fb, actually) as I was no longer in the same country and thought someone who was would be more likely to share things things that were relevant to the school. It was then that we asked one of the teachers to take over – the recession was still in full swing and she didn’t have enough classes.
    If I’m not being too nosy, how does your school compensate you for the work you do on their social media presence? Does a certain amount of time spent online/number of posts translate into teaching hours?
    Good luck with all your plans!

    1. Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience Vedrana. Actually, someone from the management team was looking after the social media, but she didn’t have the time so it wasn’t very effective.
      I have a number of admin hours in my contract that I use for this kind of tasks. I actually enjoy doing it, even though as you say it requires a lot of hard work.

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