Teachers talk- Sapna Sehgal
My guest today is Sapna Sehgal, an English teacher, a blogger and a linguist, who feels passionate about blogging, travelling and goal-setting.
Hi Sapna, you run a successful educational blog, called THE TEACHING COVE. What makes it different from the other blogs?
The Teaching Cove is unique in that it connects English teachers and educators to three types of free resources - teaching resources, organizational hacks and motivational tips. My free printables library is updated monthly with resources I have blogged about. Also, I email out a downloadable Motivational Monday poster every week, which I make with travel photography I've taken and my favourite quotes.
Rather than simply provide downloadable resources like many English teaching websites, I run a blog that helps teachers understand how to use my resources to best benefit their students. You can sign up for my free printables library at www.teachingcove.com. I'd love to have you as part of my community!
What tips would you give to new educational bloggers?
Be yourself - make sure your unique voice shines through so readers understand who you are. Also, be sure to research the business side of running a blog. I have degrees in business, teaching and applied linguistics, so this comes naturally to me, but there are a lot of educators who miss this when trying to monetize their blogs.
In fact, I'm planning to create a video course in the near future to help teachers and educators learn marketing principles to help them grow their businesses and websites. I'm also working on a course to help teachers learn to run a profitable tutoring business as a side job, since many English teachers around the world have part-time jobs and/or wish to supplement their income.
Tell us about the e-books you are working on at the moment.
I'm working on two e-books at the moment. The first one will feature 25 TED Talks and Documentaries your students will love - with complete lesson plans, follow up activities and instructions on how to run the classes.
My second e-book will be more of a lesson planning package. It will include my trusty spreadsheets and planning documents to make it easy for English teachers to manage their classroom or individual tutoring planning. Of course, I'll include a guide on how to adapt my resources to best suit your students' levels.
Your blog offers a great variety of teaching resources, such as “Teach Writing” and “Teach Reading”. What inspires you when you write such resources?
That one's quite simple, actually. My students inspire me! When I create ideas for blog posts, I think of what I've been able to help students with in the past. I love to share what's worked for me with others.
I am a firm believer that we should motivate our students to grow. I love your Motivational Monday’s posters. How would you recommend teachers use them in their lessons?
Thank you! I have fun creating them! Well, there are several ways to use them. They could be posters for your classroom or personal inspiration on your desk (or laptop screen). My personal favourite is using them as writing prompts, though. Visual writing prompts really inspire students (even younger children!) to write stories or poetry. In classes for adults, I usually ask students to respond to the quote in a personal essay and answer these questions:
How do you feel about the author's statement? How does the quote apply to your life? Provide support for your answer using specific examples.
You can sign up to receive The Teaching Cove's Motivational Monday posters in your inbox every week on my site and start using them in your class!
How do you see the ESL teachers collaborate to create a better, more positive world?
Collaboration between teachers is key to learning and growth in our profession. Teachers with websites, and educational bloggers, or "teacherpreneurs", especially, can help each other out by working together online to share resources.
I belong to several Facebook groups for teachers; it's really helpful to see how other teachers approach challenges. We definitely need more collaboration in education! I'm always looking for opportunities and would love to hear from anyone who would like to collaborate. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you, Sapna
You can read the whole interview with Sapna in the February issue of the e-zine INSPIRATIONAL ENGLISH, which will be out next week. It will be dedicated to the aspects of LOVE.
In Issue 34 you will also find:
- What teachers love about teaching English
- Lesson plans
- Kids' corner- How Jimmy the squirrel will try to help Polly the Pixie
- Easy English- Frank and Russie's Little Big Adventures in the city of Oxford
- A talk with Vassiliki Mandalou and Julie Pratten about LOVE, EMPATHY and the book "A-Z of HOPE"
- "Read for Global" - a project that Mario Sampilo, an English teacher from the Philippines, has initiated to develop his students' critical thinking and reading skills
- Plus a lot whole more
Have an inspiring week!