Never in my classroom – mislabelling & moving on


Recently during my local Aldi weekly shop I have noticed a lot of mislabelling going on. Wrong prices, wrong product or product is not what it says on the wobbler. This I think is due to human resources and some restructuring in the store layout. My milk and juice is just not where it used to be. ;(

It got me to thinking, this is not far from where we, some of us may be in our professional lives.

As a teacher many may try to define us by profession, opinion, style or even personality.

These I have heard over the years about myself, some truth may lie in some, others may be slightly misleading in assumption. But I throw them out there all the same.




Not like the old      (insert profession here).



Lively       (although these days I feel the energy wanes due to creaking bones and brain)

But how would you describe your professional self in two adjectives?

theLingoGuy is:

Generative, as opposed to prescriptive when it comes to planning lessons, workshops etc. The thread may be subject to change due to circumstance. I may go into them with a rough outline, but these get scrapped on average 15 – 20 % of the time.


In flux, in that I prefer my work to change a lot and often. These days I have a bedrock of stability in one Uni job and my company. But the rest, even the latter to some extent changes due to specific projects, my choice or to stave off the onset of boredom or familiarity that may often breed complacency in me.


Likewise there are many idioms or stages in our professional careers, whether that is as a teacher/trainer or something else.

Are you?:

finding your feet.   stuck in a rut,  in your comfort zone

well established locally/on line,  set in your ways

in need of a change,  part of the weekly grind

Maybe there is another idiom to describe where you are right now in your Personal Development and Learning Network?

Me, I am very much in need of refocus. All freelancers have loyalties and shifting priorities, innit?  I would luv to be settled with these. But then again I may become bored, complacent or not happy with one of the many work environments I am in. At the moment I work for my own company, two Unis (now solely in a technical English context), Business English at 3 lingo schools, and Vice President of my Creative Writing and Performance e.V. And do one off workshops/presentations/projects for partners. This often means I have issues of time management and also keeping ahead of the 8 ball. Due to being widely spread like a thin layer of margarine on warm morning toast. And more often than not, not washed down with some tea and sympathy. 😉

Being at the chalkboard is often more and more being replaced by admin, answering emails or moderating the many on going platforms/ projects I have begun. This is the bane of a freelancer who is in flux and in need of small changes.

It may mean I have had to make sacrifices. Sometimes for the better (stepping out of working for larger English lingo schools) or with regret (folding up a local English Language Teachers Association). The former is mainly due to a complete lack of real support or being part of a teaching team, the latter more the inability to find a good team of people to drive the ELTA, and the apathy of my local peers.


Why the post you may well ask, well due to all the above I have decided it is high time  every month to take stock and reflect on successes, failures, where I am at and where I wanna go.

We all need to reflect a bit, and see where that 8 ball is at.






  • Vicki Hollett

    Oh sorry to hear about the ELTA, Stew. But yes, sometimes a bit of refocusing is a very positive thing – to stop that margarine being spread too thinly, as you aptly put it. And looking at the list, it seems like you have an abundance of great projects on the go and it doesn’t look like you’re going to wake up wondering what to do in the morning.

  • lingo guy

    Thks Vicki, but some of the pies are not quite ready for baking if you know what I mean. As for waking up in the morning; more like being looked at by the disgruntled pooch to write a blog, get an idea down, catch up on someat. Batters boredom like a fish from a Scottish chippy.

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