Pandemia and SEN: How the pandemic changed school routine?

Hello there,

inclusive quotes

Since the pandemic has started many teachers and students are facing hard time to engage their students in virtual classes. This challenge has taken us by surprise, because most of us never ever worked in a digital platform part-time or full-time. There are many questions around this issue and two of them are: how to motivate sen students to engage in virtual class ? How continue their school routine in a struggling scenario?

Of course, it also affected myself, as a teacher and a mother of an autistic kid, it was not easy to deal with this unknown situation proposed by COVID19. First of all, How would be the classes?  by zoom or google classroom in a SEN reality ? Second, How to engage SEN students when not all the teachers are familiarized with those platforms ?

Well, the answers are quite frustrating! it has been a nightmare for both sides. The teachers have to risk themselves on digital tools to bring the contents to their students as if they were in their classroom, otherwise they will be facing criticism from schools and parents for not be well prepared to work with pressure which they never have faced in their professional life.

Meanwhile, the SEN students are facing the lack of resources, their routines are upside down and the risk of being neglected for not having a proper access to education is too high.

Last week, I gave a webinar talking about how to adapt material for an inclusive education. The target for this serie of talks was the teachers. Most of them were looking for some ideas and materials which they could work with their students. The situation is very atypical to all of us, once our materials have to be prepared to work with peers, focus on a collaborative project and distractions which occurs during a face-to-face class. Nowadays, we need to focus mainly on distractions (because they are using laptops, tablets and smartphone what most of the time they use in their leisure time), adapt more flexible contents to achieve their goals and distance assessment. It is the toughest task I have been to since I have started teaching SEN.

Therefore, we (teachers and parents of SEN students) are on the road where we have two different directions, very similar with the poem by Frost

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”
We need to be prepared for those challenges that the pandemia has brought  to all of us. Afterwards, this school year will be always remembered for bringing   the discussion on how society and educational system have changed after lock down. And which road would you choose to help your student during this coronavirus pandemic?

To sum up this short text, I would like to share with you these articles from CBS Boston and Aljazeera

Thank you for dropping by!


Poetry Foundation:




Inclusive Education Week – Brazil

1D0477BF-C65F-4C4F-8783-BD8CAE34A29DHello there,

I have been away from blogging for while, but many good things have happened since my last post. I have been working on a project about inclusive curriculum what I am extremely glad! 😃

So, I am here to invite you to join me and some great people who will be talking about Inclusive Education during this week.

You can reach the talks and for more details at Facebook and Instagram accounts:, where you will be able to join us on the live streaming.

Today, I will be talking a little bit about “How to adapt materials focus on inclusive education” Drop by if you can, it will be in Portuguese but I will post the highlights in English during this week.


See you there!







Inclusion – a word that can change everything

Hello There,

I know April  isn’t around the corner but we have just started our school year and  it is never too early or late to talk about the month dedicated to raise awareness about autism.

According to World Health Organizationl some reviews estimate that 1 child in 160 has autism spectrum disorder. So every year, we will face more cases related to autism but just a few actions have reached these children, teens and adults. I am not talking about education but treatments and support.

Most of us know that autism does not have a cure, and also studies do not have evidences of where this disorder came from (vaccines, allergies, DNA and on). As a mother of an autistic child and an educator, I strongly believe in acceptaness and support them. However there are some campaigns according to CNN ‘Autism is something that must be eradicated, not something that should be supported and accepted.’ These kind of atittude simply deny the idea of inclusion.

But do you really know the idea of inclusion?

Inclusion is taken in as part of a whole. To be more specific, according to the online dictionary Merriam-Webster the act or practice of including students with disabilities in regular school classes.

That is the inclusion, I am going to talk about:

  • Is it our best choice to include kids in a regular school without an inclusive curriculum?

Well, I do not think so! There are some schools that simply do not have support (mediators) or a curriculum in which is not able to adapt using proper materials and/ or  in different ways of assessments. Most of the time, it does not have any chance to change it. Therefore, the institution does not accept modification, unfortunately there is no inclusion.

Thus, the most common thing to happen is the lack of interest to go to school, that is what many families around the world have faced year by year. Some autistics children have been facing this situation for a long time. In some cases, they do not want to go back to school because of bullying or acceptance.

  •   What is the difference between Inclusion and Diversity?

When it comes to diversity, we are talking about differences that people have on basis of gender, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and on. Inclusion is how we will work with all mention above without judgments, prejudice and belief.  In an inclusive school, environment and society no one is left behind, all of them have their role in the action and in  society.

Moreover, we need diversity to work on in an inclusive world and vice-versa. These two words are together, connected… They cannot work apart! The more diverse the world is the more inclusive opportunities we will have!

To sum up, we have to fight for a world full of emphathy to understand that we have our differences but we complete each other.  That is how inclusion happens!

Thank you for dropping by!


Autism Speaks –



Beyond Diversity picture credit –



Is that too hard to adapt material for SEN?


“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” 
― Albert Einstein

Hello there,

It is about time to write again!

The new school and university year have already started for me, and I have been quite busy preparing and analyzing materials which will be necessary to work with my students and myself as well. Thus, I have been searching for while new materials to adapt in an inclusive approach for my classes.

It was not an easy task! Because, there are many good materials available in the market, but not all of them are able to adapt for an inclusive curriculum. That is a pity!

So that I decided to write here, why  is it so hard and demanding to adapt materials?  When it comes to adaptation, we have to focus on a critical awareness for effective materials development. Not all the book which are on sale can be adapted. Some of them have their on criteria for evaluate the students’ goals. Some of them are complex and not flexible, and some of them are really expensive.

 I could list many other problems here in order to emphasis how difficult is for some teachers to prepare their classes. Most of them feel insecure to adapt because of their background or because they think that they are not prepared for it, and give up without trying.

I started adapting my materials in 2009, when I had the chance to teach a student who faced difficulties at school, but his problem was language ability. He was studying with a book that required an intermediate level (B2) and he was a low one (A2). There was nothing related to neurodiversity or special needs in this case. It was just a matter of profiency, what taking some classes and doing some activities would had helped him to achieve the level required.

Adaptation we do anytime that it is necessary to enhance our students skills. We can adapt from different point of views:

  • Cultural knwoledge and cultural awareness.
  • The Learner’s Culture.
  • To facilitate their inclusion in the school enviromnent.

Thus, it is necessary to us, teachers, nowadays to stimulate and find ways to motivate our learners with SEN (special needs and neurodiversities) in our classrooms. 

Another example on how it is hard to adapt material was from a student who was attending English classes to improve his social interaction and anxiety (TEA – Autism). In this situation, the language was used as a therapy. Not only to acquiring a new language but also helping the student to interact with the world around him. The book that I had worked with him was full of information that it was too complex. Some kind of vocabulary and images were completly out of context, and disconnect him from the whole classroom. It was a huge challenge.

That was the moment that I decided to change the activities from the book and brough materials which were meaningful to him as well as to other students in the classroom. It worked and did all the difference.

‘The nature of culture as dynamic and interactive and they describe cultures as socially constructed realities that could manifest themselves in many different ways.”  Tomlinson (2003)

This kind of sensibility is in our teaching essence. Most of the time, we prepare activities that are meaningful  to one group, so this variable and interactive  boost their cognitive and affective substance. You nailed it!  On the other hand, it can be enough and boring to another group of learners. So, You fail!

No… it is not about – Succeed x Failure x mistakes! It is about persistence!

Besides, it takes more time to prepare! That is right, I know and I totally agree with you!  we have more than 2 classes, sometimes, bigger and full of activities proposed by the schools and the university… I do know that! But the moment that you start analyzing and adapting the lesson that you are using, you can see the possibilities that is hidden from the “teachers guide”  you will face that it makes more sense to you and to your learner – with or without neurodiversity.

Fixed activities which were adapted will take you to another level in your pespective of critical teaching development. It is necessary to question the use of some contents rather than blaming the materials for not succeed in your class.

After all I have said about adapting, the best way to adapt materials to SEN is according to Altheide, focus on what will be discussed, how it will be discussed, and, above all how it will not be discussed.   

So, if you are thinking about adapting activities for an inclusive content, start with one you have already worked with your students. Yet, use your creativity, frames the parameters and use critical awareness to evalute the activity.

Frame can be a very helpful way to analyze the adaptation that you are working on.

“How and what can be use in this particular lesson:

  • different  kind of texts?
  • or images?
  • or videos?  51200789_2512016179025317_2925391702359277568_n

After you have reflected and started the adaptation you will never gonna stop…

Thank you for dropping by…


ALTHEIDE, D.L (1996) Ethnographic Content Analysis. London: Sage

FAIRCLOUGH, N (1992) Critical Language Awareness. Harlow: Longman

KULLMAN, J.P (2004) The Social Construction of leaner Identity in the UK-Published ELT Coursebook. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of Kent

TOMLINSON, B and MASUHARA, H. (2004a) Development language course material. Singapure: RELC Portfolio Series.



Inclusion and Academia – The bitter sweet symphony

“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” 

  Thomas A. Edison

I  decided to use this quote, because this year was ninety-nine percent of perspiration in my life, I mean, it really was…

First, I had great moments that I have already described in this blog. Doing an online MA is not that easy as I thought. It takes discipline, autonomy, self-control  and hardworking efforts. Most of the time, you have to review some concepts that it is no longer appropriated to your project. You have to understand the point of view of your advisor who is not in the same context that you are and, it can be frustated but in some situations a relief. The life in the Academia is a bitter sweet symphony.

Second, when you challenge yourself to another level, you have to face it. There is no turning back. In May, I enrolled for a teacher position at one of the most important University in Brazil. I passed at the 4th place, it really surprised me and I felt very happy. I am working with a group of amazing professionals who I have been learning and sharing with them all.  I teach nowadays English for Academic Purpose – EAP.

Third, I have the chance to put into practices what I have been doing since 2011. The first day at the University, I was heading to my class, when a young-blondie-girl around her 20 somethings asked me – ‘Where is the room F-205?’. I told her that I was going to the same classroom and she asked me in just one-minute-conversation at least 10 questions…

She told me that she was very anxious to learn how to write a paragraph, because of her TCC. In fact, I did not realize that she would come to me at the end of the class and reveal that she was diagnosed with ADHD some months ago and for the first time she was comfortable enough to exposure herself with a ‘Professor’*. It really caught me by surprised! Therefore, I welcomed her to my class.

I reckon that she did not miss more than 2 lessons in a schedule of 14 meetings. She used to carry with her a heavy-backpack full of papers and folders in different colors for each subjects.It was awkward situation, because the other students stopped to see her desperately seeking  for something in her bag.

There was the moment that she got lost with her papers, and she almost panicked. After that, I asked her to wait for some minutes after the class and, we talked a little bit and  I gave her a pack of post-it. I suggested her to start writing her routine in that small papers; from morning to evening; and create a to-do-list. If something she forgot to do in the previous day, she should put for the next day in priority.

She took this suggestion as an advice. She showed me how she had improved herself, that heavy-backpack full of stuff, now it was light with just few things that she really needed for each day at the university.

Not only she improved herself to her routines, but also her focus on studying. Her paragraph was easier to understand, she developed her concentration in some specific moments during the class, what helped her a lot during her writing process.

When our course finished, she sent me an email, saying that she was feeling more confident and less anxious. That email made my day, weeks and gave more strength to move on. Besides, I was ready for my new group. I reckoned with someone who did not conclude the previous course, one could join this it again…. and it happened.

One of those students who quit the course had returned and, it was the most enigmatic one. He attended some classes from the previous course but suddenly he disappeared. I sent some emails asking him to come back but no answers, nothing at all. I thought that, he did not like the course, maybe because it was easy or diffucult, lots of question were in my head.

The first-day for this new group had arrived and he was there. I felt very happy, he gave me a second chance what I hold on to. I decided to create some activities to engage the whole class.  Now with this group, I should be more patient.

Some of them were threatened to speak in English. They were afraid of making mistakes IMG_0856and their classmates could laugh at them. I told them that the course was ‘writing production’. However, in some situations I would like to work with them some speaking activities just for brainstorming the ideas to write, otherwise it would be very boring. So, they accepted my proposal.

I thought that he would not accepted my request and with his “limitted english” (he argued that) he was interacting with the other students, putting his point of view and participating with the whole classrrom now.

That was fabulous, but one thing was not right. There were some moments in the class that, he did not understand some jokes presenting in the activities. One of those jokes, it was the adjective “stubborn” and the text gave the example “like a mule” he could not understand the meaning behind these two contexts in the text. He understood literal meaning. He thought the text was offensive.

It was the moment that I realized that something was not as it seems. There were some social behavior conflicts, visual contact surrounding his attitudes.   I could not ask him if he has autism, because he could feel uncomfortable.

So, I decide to explain the text in a different way. As some of the students did not understand the word stubborn, I tried to use real examples to come up with the meaning, using famous people attitudes, memes and, BINGO! Everybody else got it!  In that was the day, my perspiration works a lot! 

Besides, the class was very challenging for some of them, everyone learned something including myself. At the end of the class, he asked me to talk a little bit, and in a certain time, he told me his story of overcoming barriers, stigmas and diveristies.

He is an Asperger adult, he was diagnosed in 2010, he entered to the university through the accessibility process of Berenice Piana’s Law  (This is a brazilian law which gave all people with autism spectrum access to study in regular schools and universities across the country, it is a federal law).

That day, I was in his eyes my son. I looked at him and I said “I am here to help you, please do not turn away, it is difficult but you will get it. Look at yourself and see where you are now.” And today in a rainy saturday night, I am correcting his 2nd paragraph. Updating this post, he concluded the course with flying colors!

I write this post full of joy, because I can feel what their parents went through to get him in this stage. It is challenging  and demanding  to raise kids with disabilities in many parts of the world. It is  tough to plan their future and most of the time difficult is to include them in any sphere of education.

I have been working in many contexts; private x public; school x university. I hope seeing the inclusive education more vivid, more open and dynamic…

I wish all the teachers around the world Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year…


P.S- I choose Thomas A. Edison quote because he suffered a lot in his school time, a teacher sent to his mom a letter saying “your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled” His mother taught him until she got ill and  she could not see how he was important to the world.

* Professor in portuguese also means Teacher ( schools or institutions) or Professor (academic context) I am not a professor yet, so I am a Teacher.


I recommend two articles for those who are facing challenging and demanding situations at their classroom:

Motivating Teachers to include everyone

Building a culture of inclusion   

Soundtrack for this post – The Verve


Networking is the path of development.

On Saturday 3rd June , Braz Tesol Rio Chapter prepared a wonderful event for English Teachers in one of the most beautiful cities in Rio. Famous for being our Royal Petropolis, kindly welcomed more than one hundred teachers from different parts of Rio de Janeiro State. It took place in a centenary building, full of history which celebrates its 100th anniversary , CEFET Petropolis was one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been to enjoy a-day event for Teaching Development.

In an enthusiastic atmosphere, participants and presenters could share their thoughts and impressions during the plenary. There were two rounds sessions (in both languages – Portuguese and English to discuss about bilingualism, Inclusive Education, Artificial Intelligence, Brain-friendly Lessons, Use of games and many other topics. The day ended up with a round table to discuss about ELT.

The main goals of this kind of event are getting new ideas, sharing different ways to teach, discuss and get to know new materials and so on.

In my humble opinion, the top-notch is NETWORKING . Getting along with our friends and make new ones is priceless. It is really important to be ready to talk a lot during the Coffee break, not only to get in touch with some old friends, talk about their expectations, experience and future goals but also getting to know different people from different contexts.


Making new friends opens a window of opportunities, ideas and new challenges in our career. This is what makes any Conference (National or International) or a one-day seminar an outstanding experience.

It does not matter if it has been your 10th time, but you will always be learning, sharing and caring with people who look at the same direction as you – DEVELOP THEMSELVES FOR BEING A BETTER TEACHER, PROFESSIONAL AND HUMAN BEING.

In this event at CEFET by Braz-Tesol Rio chapter I had the opportunity to meet good friends face to face for the first time . People who I have been talking for years on the web at BRELT (Facebook Community). Meeting them in person was a unique experience. We moved from online to real life, but with the same feeling : we are friends. The importance of Networking in our field is to build a strong relationship with other teachers and educators from different contexts and expertise.

cefet1So, after reading this post , I hope you make consider to attend to one of the many Teaching Development events from lots of great associations around the country or abroad. I can assure you that you will never see the world with the same eyes.


Thank so much Karin Heuert Galvão for inviting me to write this post for ELT Telegraphs


Brazilian English is beautiful by BrELT

#accentpride – we are proud of it

TEFL Equity Advocates

The following video has been produced by BrELT (Brazil’s English Language Teachers), a Facebook community that fosters collaborative professional development among Brazil’s ELT professionals. The message is clear: “We are here. We are Brazilian. Deal with it.”

“Who are you talking to, though?” you may wonder.

Other Brazilians, believe it or not. Sadly, we needed to reaffirm our pride in being who we are not to the world, but to our fellow citizens.

Recently, a highly qualified Brazilian English teacher with a successful YouTube channel has been abused by a countryman saying she shouldn’t be recording because she’s from Brazil. Another famous Brazilian YouTuber said learning from native speakers is more cost-effective. In several other YouTube channels, Brazilians have mocked household names because of their accents in English.

What’s being revealed by the comfortable anonymity of internet comments is only the tip of the iceberg. Native-speakerism runs deep…

View original post 446 more words

Lego Batman is a big deal for ‘Team Work’

lego“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change”  Michael Jackson


Hello There,

It has been a long time since I posted here. Lot of things have happened and I would like to share with you some lessons plans for Young Learner. Actually,  I have done with my students and also with my kids at home these activities. It might be helpful for your students as well. Moreover, I have been involved with some projects, adapting some materials for an inclusive curriculum.

We have just started a new school year in Brazil. Maybe some of you are working in a new School, of course new students  (just a typical situations for us, right?). In some cases, new methodologies and approaches will come in our ways. Perhaps it may be our first time teaching these methodologies (well, you left your comfort zone?! that’s totally fine and very important to your own development!). There is a moment that you realize that everything is not awesome! It can be very complicated sometimes (yes, it is) – new friends, new staff room, everything is different and WE FEEL ALONE and no empathy…

According to the dictionary Merriam-WebsterEmpathy is the ability of being aware of and sharing another person’s feelings, experiences, and emotions’

I will share with you what a cartoon suggested by one of my kids made me thinking about ’empathy’  and create a lesson plan for my new students.

Last Sunday, we went to see a movie called ‘The Lego Batman’. My daughter was so excited to watch it. One of her friends recommended it and, it was my son’s birthday too. My son simply loves Lego and Batman (perfect combination).

 I have to confess that at the beginning it was pretty silly, just coloful bricks building situations, what I could not have taken into account, it was how many “hidden messages” appeared in there.  Every new scene tried to touch us straight to the head and heart. It was not only for kids, but it was also for all of us.

In a world where ‘egocentrism’ is showing its ugly face, some people don’t see the power of togetherness, community and friendship with good eyes. Lego Batman nailed it. We can not live isolate, NO WAY!! So this is the same thing to our classroom, our school and on.

Just telling a little bit about the story, Batman (Lego) was very confident about himself! No super hero was better than him! He did everything alone in his ‘entire’ life. However, he could not have imagined that ‘Team Work’ would helped him to defeat his most powerful enemy – ‘loneliness’.

Most of the time, we face some situations as shown in this kid’s movie. In our classes, We have the outgoing kids and the shy ones. It is not an easy task to make them working together. However, they have different behaviors, working their differences  can turn into a wonderful team work full of empathy.

And How can we engage these two opposite personalities?  Well, there is not a magic formula, but building some strategies to raise ’empathy’ in class, it might improve themselves to work as a big group in and outside school. 986c2de92af8bb5be23d1aac38713c43

Everything was not awesome this time with that poor Lego character.  Batman went to visit Superman, he thought that Superman was really sad and alone. However, He had no idea that The Justice League Compatriots were having a good time all together with Superman and no one cared about Batman’s presence at the party. Surly Batman’s isolation was the huge problem in his life but when he decided to change his way of living and worked as a Team, he saw that it was easier to handle. This time Batman did everything right! In a movie it seems to be easy. On the other hand,  how tough is to deal with ’empathy’ in everyday life?

Therofore, in an inclusive classroom team work is essential to make a better place to interact and learn. There are no limitation, no fear, no isolation. We are all together, helping each other to overcome our barriers or trying walk with our friends’ shoes. We can make it possible by doing from simple actions to a big challenge. For an inclusive atmosphere, it is necessary  set up some goals during the semester and measure how these actions will develop with the whole group.

I will share with you an activity that you can help your students to work their ’empathy’

Young Learners activity – 7-10 years old

Time:10-15min (It can be a warm-up or a ice-breaker activities)

Aim of the activity: Raise the idea of team work to create a board for Superhero of the day. One day of the week, one student will be the super hero in class. He or She has to help a friend in needed.  So, let’s see how it goes.

Super hero in our class!

1- Find out what kind of abilities your students may have:

  • someone who loves to draw or write
  • someone who can sing, dance or play an instrument
  • someone who knows other languages (Spanish, English)
  • someone who practices sports…


2- Motivate the “Hero of the day” share with the entire class what is his/her superpower and weakness.

First give them your own example (Modeling) – My super power is ‘sing’ and ‘dance’, you can show them a videoclip and ask them to dance and sing all together to break the ice. I usually use this video ‘What does the Fox say’ it is top #10 in my classes and they love Just Dance games.


3- Encourage them to be superhero everywhere.

The good things they have shared with you during the classes, you can ask them to do it outside as well. Stimulate them to be a good friend and citizen.

  • Help their parents, granparents at home (doing their errands, make their beds, go shopping…)
  • Read or tell a story to a small kid, or special friend, or for elderly people
  • Help them to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle things at school and at home.
  • Teach them the importance of playing Fair games.



4- Use the social media to interact with other classroom*

This is an example how I use social media (Twitter) with them. I pos16934095_10203022191152353_320569471_nted just the chorus from Michael Jackson’s song  from Lego’s soundtrack, and an Unofficial Lego Batman just replied . It was cool, the kids got really surprised when I showed them the tweet, they just said ‘WOW’.

Most of the time, when I use social media, I ask  for permission. In Brazil, we have some laws that it is not allowed using classroom pictures without parental consent* (*parents should be aware of using social medias during your classes. It is part of your lesson but it is necessary for their kids securities.


This activity help them to interact with everyone. Not only the school enviromnent but also wherever they will be. Their superpower is there,  ready to help a friend, their family  or even improve themselves. It is an active that raise equality, diversity and friendship. If we teach our kids kindness and respect, we will let them  grow up in a better place. Don’t forget that kids learn by examples.



Good readers quotes




U.S Department of Health and Human Services




Authentic Material – Big deal for teachers and learners.



Hello There,

I would like to share with you some great lessons that it was a huge success in two groups of students during this month. Actually, I’m always on facebook or twitter looking for activities that could engage my small group of students.  This time I was searching for something different from their coursebooks. Needless to say, I have to follow the school curriculum but this semester, we are allowed to engage our teenagers with different kind of materials, I mean authentic ones.

The first time, I worked with these kind of materials, it was with my adult class in 2010, specially conversation class (A2-B2). That time, I usually started with something that they had already learned in their coursebook, and then I used to engage them in  warm-up or review activities.  There were articles, videos, ad from American and British tvs, some podcasts and so on.  Some of my students were really afraid of trying this new things. They couldn’t realize that things like ‘Friends’ , it was  a real moment of learning. Because there  are some myths towards Brazilian learners that ‘if you don’t learn from a book, you didn’t learn at all’. It took some patience and time to reconstruct this point of view, but finally, after some lessons they got the idea and, it worked pretty well.

Then, I decided to work with my very young learners projects using this book  ‘Pete, The Cat’ , it was a huge success. The kids simply adored him (Pete) and we had a lot of fun. It was the moment that, I brought the concept of adapting materials for students with special needs to my institution. Besides, adapting the material was a perfect moment to work with an inclusive curriculum and environment, my students were able to interact with all during the school time and why not saying outside as well.

Thus, most of these materials were there, ready to be use and it was not difficult to find them. Today we have many sources and platforms that are available to help us in our classes. Actually, all those materials I have been using with in my classes are on twitter and facebook too. Just a big deal!

Once I caught myself wondering, how my teachers used to prepare their lessons? Teaching english as a second language nowadays in Brazil is not the same way that I learned 30 years ago. Back in the 80’s , I used to have penpal friends from England and USA, it was suggested by one of my favorite teachers that time. It was amazing the feeling of those letters arriving in my home.  They used to describe their lifestyles and so did I – it was a kind of authentic material that time. There were no internet, just the traditional post office! And surprise (I still have two postcards from them). To tell the truth, both experiences had helped me a lot to understand about culture, language and friendship.

Today, when I am in class, I can relate some situation within my students. The use of technology has helped us a lot to use what is surround us – The more we use our reality, the more we create opportunity to learn. That is why authentic material are made for. Thus, I would like to suggest you two great people who create amazing things to improve and motivate our students.

#1 – Phil Wade creation :

Since He has started to share his #minilessons, I have been using quite a lot. His materials 14199367_323865964625586_8782023895156632105_nare really great to lead a good conversation class (from music to divergent topic as refugees). Instead of using games all the time, I decided to work with his minilessons because of the skills (speaking and writing) presented there and of course my students’ needs. Our free lessons happens once in a month, so I was supossed to bring some fun to them, using things about the target language. That was the moment that I saw his post on facebook and voilà. It has been my #1 sources this semester.

#2 – Natural English :

I was tweeting some ideas and activities, when I came across this won14455827_10202355767332174_1395091194_oderful material and I got really impressed with its lesson. First of all, we had worked with the target language presented previously on the lesson and the title  caught my attention ‘Sometimes Bad Things happen to good Robots’  (it is a full sample). In fact, I couldn’t use the whole lesson, but I worked with the video and also the text. During the class we saw the video in pairs, my students discussed about the video and then in a different peer group, they read the text. We did the exercise 4 about vocabulary. However, I didn’t use all the lesson, I didn’t have enough time for it. So, I selected to work with them just some parts, otherwise we couldn’t have time to explore some words in the vocabulary part that it was new for them. Besides,  exercise 6 – as suggested by Natural English it was not appropriate to my group (13-14 years old). This lesson worked during 1:15min. I assigned them the homework part to hand me back in a week. They described some things that happened with their family members and friends. I decided not publish here on the blog their composition, because it was too personal. Anyway, It was a wonderful lesson that raised some very important issues that many people have faced in life, unfortunately.

I would like to thank Phil Wade and Natural English for taking the time to prepare such great lessons. I  hope this post can help other teachers to understand and how authentic materials can improve their way of teaching . A hint for newbie teachers – try to introduce little by little in your classes, starts as a warm up then you will be giving an entire lesson.







Indiscipline – Hey Teacher, come on…


“Creativity dies in an indisciplined environment.”  Jim Collins


Hello there,

I have been working hard on my research for my MA project, during these 3 months I could observe that many teachers are facing difficult time with indiscipline during their classes. It might sound strange for some people in other countries. However, tumblr_nauopi7nyr1ro49vxo1_250there are many studies and surveys in this area going on in Brazil. Actually, They have shown that teachers have spent more than 20 minutes to calm down their students to start their classes. So, it is not an easy task and, imagine how frustrating it can be.

It is not a lack of classroom management. Most of the time, it’s something that go beyond us. There are situations of chaos, and some teachers simply do not know how to deal with.

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine on facebook posted pictures of happy classes – the students were such as Michelangelo angels; the teacher – a beautiful blonde young lady in her 30 with a stunning smiles… Anyway, I am not saying that, those pictures are unreal, but it was so far from our reality. Of course, teachers including myself go to school happy, excited to teach lesson plans in which usually take hours to be prepared. And when we go to school, we can not teach because of bad behavior, so ‘ who is to blame? 

I love searching words on dictionary. According to oxford american dictionary the word discipline is a way of training your mind and body so that you control your actions and obey the rules. However, what caught my attention was the example “a good teacher must be able to maintain discipline in the classroom” – wow! It is really annoying, isn’t it?

I have been observing many teachers and, I can assure you that they were doing very well their job. In fact, the problem was not only the students, but some aspects that the school could have helped those teachers (unfortunately it didn’t). Therefore, there are some reasons why teachers are giving up on teaching or having burn-outs during the semester.

Many of these issues are bullying, peer pressure, physical violence and in some schools where we have special needs students – Meltdown (in case of autism) and so on.

When some teachers do not have any support from their school and decide to ignore an indisciplined student does not take away the problem; it worsens the situation. In fact bad behavior will encourage other students do the same.  There are some ideas in this post by changing minds might help us to respond some bad behaviors in our classes.misbehavior

On the other hands when teachers have dialogue between school and parents, the problem with the misbehaving child will lead both side to another level of partnership and collaboration.

 It is not a piece of cake to handle indiscipline in our classroom. Even though, we have been prepared for classroom managment, including trainings, workshops – this will happen to us once! This is a kind of situation that it will be out of control, and we will ask this question forever ‘what was wrong with that class?’ so, I suggest you do not take misbehavior personally. Indiscipline is not the teacher’s problem, it is everybody’s problem.

Do not be afraid of reporting this issue to your school. Apparently,  this kind of behavior happens out of school and some parents avoid telling the truth to the teachers during parents meeting.

Sharing what is going on in your classroom with your colleagues, mentors and friends, it might be helpful for you. Because some of them have faced the same problem at once and, they might help you – giving ideas, advice and suggestions how to work and engage your students in some properly activities.

Since I have been teaching english in some schools and institutions in Brazil. I have shared some difficulties and challenges with some friends every so often. Their experiences have helped me a lot when it comes to dealing with different kind of behaviors and moods. I had almost forgotten another good hint – Do not isolate yourself, all of us have walked through the fire (I mean the classroom).

To sum up, I would like to share with you this article from CNN ‘What teachers really want to tell parents’  I read it a couple of years ago, but it is still updated. I hope you like my reflection about indicipline and misbehaviour. Thanks for dropping by.


The Malta Independent –

Autism Speaks –

Changing Minds – –

Photos credit


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