a self portrait

a self portrait

Darren Elliott has been teaching English for ten years, mostly in Japan with a stint in UK higher education in the middle. He has taught at private conversation schools, businesses and universities and has even been allowed to train other teachers.

This blog touches on many things, but is inspired by Michael Huberman’s book “The Lives of Teachers”. The book describes an enormous longitudinal study of secondary school teachers in Switzerland, charting the various trajectories, epiphanies and critical junctures they experience. How do teachers develop themselves? How do they stay motivated? What, inside and outside the classroom, affects the teachers’ work?

By talking to teachers and language professionals around the world, I hope to address these questions and many more of pertinence to the language teacher.

If you are interested in being interviewed, or know someone who might be, please contact me at darrenrelliott@gmail.com or on twitter at @livesofteachers. Skype works well (I’m darrenrelliott on skype), but even a phone line could be feasible.

Interviews so far are available here in video format, or here as downloadable audio.

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12 Thoughts on “about

  1. Alan Tait on November 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm said:

    Dear Darren,

    Very nice website/blog, which I found from Ken Wilson’s, BTW. Look forward to reading more. (I’ve been in EFL – private sector – since 1990 and am now settled in Galicia, Spain. I also have mixed feelings about living ‘on the net’ like yourself, but looks like it might be more productive in my professional rather than private life.)

    Have a pet idea to co-write/develop open-source coursebook-type material, by the way. Any thoughts? Any links?


  2. Hi Alan, nice to meet you. I’m finding it quite handy for the professional stuff …the Personal Learning Network (PLN) that people are talking about. I think the open source idea sounds good, and I guess you’d go with a wiki or a ning. But it’s all about the PEOPLE, the technology just facilitates the project….

    Ask around on twitter and see who’s up for it? But there are a lot of people putting their stuff up on line these days (some of my materials are up on this blog as pdfs). Alex Case gives away shedloads of good stuff on his site, if you haven’t been over yet. Link in the sidebar (TEFLtastic).


  3. Alan Tait on November 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm said:

    Thanks for the ideas, Darren. I’m just starting on Twitter, so haven’t got many contacts yet, and just getting the hang of it. Had a look at Alex Case’s site too 🙂

  4. Dear Darren,
    I’ve come across your website by pure luck and I would like to thank you for sharing all these ideas with us. I have only recently set up my own blog and was wondering if I could add ‘the lives of teachers’ as a new link on it. Wishing you all the best

  5. darren on January 7, 2010 at 8:11 am said:

    Go ahead Helena, and please come back and visit again ; D

  6. Hi Darren,

    Happy New Year!

    I wasn’t sure if you’d receive my comment if I replied to yours from my blog, so here I am.

    I’d like to thank you for your comment; I really appreciate your support. I haven’t decided yet, but I may also start posting about my experiences of doing a Master’s degree online, as I am about to start, although it will really depend on the time I have.

    I also took a look at your blog today and think that your topics are quite interesting. I’ve already linked you to my blog and will be back to read more.


  7. darren on January 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm said:

    I appreciate it. I like what you are doing there – journal writing can be a very effective way to reflect on and work out classroom practice issues, and blogging opens up personal reflection to shared feedback.

    Cheers to you too!

  8. I am a teacher of English language .I have dreams to see better teaching especially in my area Saudi Arabia .Because of that I made a blog .I would like you to read my posts and share me by posting comments .
    This is my last post link



  9. Hi Mr. Saeed. Thanks for dropping by. I like what you are doing with your blog ; D

  10. Paul Berry on December 22, 2010 at 1:22 am said:

    Hello Mr Elliot,

    I’ve been following/reading your blog over the last few months now – this was largely due to lindsay Clandfield’s Six Things and Jamie Keddie’s TEFL Clips website – and I’m very impressed by what your creative ouput, particularly when it comes down to using the filmic medium in language learning.teching. I’m currenltly teaching in a French Fine Art School and over the last few years a number of my courses have got the students involved in the fiming, editing process.

    Your recent post on ‘How to’ struck a chord and I’m putting together a similar lesson based on the student’s process in how they go about making their own artworks. Anyway, I was wondering if you could send me a copy/scan of the textbook unit in ‘Face the Issues’ that you mentioned, simply so that I can see how you used the text along with the youtube video. Many Thanks, Paul Berry

  11. I very inspiring website. I taught high school for 15 years and am now teaching photography at a community college..where there is minimal support fora multitude of reasons. I found your website and blog uplifting and will keep it on my list of sites to visit when I need support..thanks! allie

  12. Hi Darren,

    congratulations for the blog. It is professional, serious but also informal and pleasant to read as a summer breeze.

    I am a non native speaker English teacher and have been teaching for about 25 years.

    I will make time to read your blog every week.

    Cheers from SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil.


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