Organize Your Language Teacher Life!

This course is available here.

I’ve been having a lot of fun over the past month or so designing an online course called Organize Your Language Teacher Life that brings together two of my favorite things, language teaching and organizing! The course is set to launch on May 24, and so in this post I thought I’d give a preview of the course, and why I decided to develop it.

Why Organize Your Language Teacher Life?

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I take planning and language teaching very seriously, and one of the reasons I started blogging was the opportunity to share the process behind some of my research and curriculum development activities in ways that I felt I couldn’t in more traditional settings, like academic articles or conferences, which tend to focus more on finished products, rather than the process of developing them. Personally, I’m as interested in conversations about HOW we do things as language teachers as I am in those about WHAT we do. As someone with lots of interests (research, teaching, blogging, Highland dancing, and more) and young children, this is key to me figuring out how to make things work, and over the years I’ve worked to develop systems to manage the various areas of my life. For me, developing systems to manage the everyday has been key to taking on larger projects such as research, curriculum development, and public scholarship, where I feel like I can begin to make an impact on my field, including pushing for structural changes.  

In conversations with language teachers, I’ve heard frustrations with ways the everyday overwhelm of lesson prep, grading, and email limits their ability to take on larger projects, such as advocacy, research, or curriculum development. This occurs in the context of very real fears and critiques of the future of our profession in a society where multilingualism is viewed as a “nice extra” for the privileged and a disadvantage for the marginalized, and language classes are often the first thing to be cut from a program. Having language teachers who could be advocating for change feeling bogged down with everyday tasks is frustrating to me because we all need to be working towards a better society! So, I thought by sharing the ways I develop systems to handle everyday tasks, I might be able to help other teachers as well. Part of this is of course realizing which tasks are in our control, and which are larger structural issues.

This led me to the idea of an online course called Organize Your Language Teacher Life! It will launch on May 24 with the modules described below, and I’ll continue to develop and add to it over time.   

All about Organize Your Language Teacher Life

The course itself is online and self-paced, and provides all the principles you need to develop systems to manage all of the areas of your language teacher life, from streamlining everyday tasks like lesson prep and grading, to being able to find the cool resources you saved, to creating space for larger projects like research, curriculum design, or advocacy. 

It consists of seven modules that address areas common to language teachers, plus a bonus module that will help you develop systems for areas relevant to your own personal context. Each module consists of a lesson available in video, audio, or written formats, plus a worksheet to help you develop and customize the system to your own unique situation. 


Module 1: What is your language teacher life? 

To organize our language teacher lives, we have to know where we are starting! This module guides you in defining the many areas that comprise your language teacher life so you can develop systems to manage each one.  

Module 2: Levels of planning

How can we beat the everyday overwhelm to create time for our larger projects and goals? This module helps you create systems for weekly, daily, term, and monthly planning so you can ensure you are making progress on the goals and projects that matter to you.

Module 3: Systems for Lesson Prep

Class starts soon, but making this game is taking longer than I thought, and I have twelve more lessons to plan this week! For many language teachers, lesson prep is a constant daily task. This module teaches you the steps to create, streamline, and evaluate your lesson planning system.

Module 4: Systems for grading

Grading, grading, grading, there always seems to be more of it to do for language teachers! This module focuses on developing a streamlined grading system that will prevent you from always feeling behind on this task.

Module 5: Systems for interactions

Emails here, office hours there, did I send that announcement, oh here’s an interesting conversation on social media . . . This module addresses systems for common, repeated interactions in your language teacher life, including ways to streamline them.  

Module 6: Systems for resource management

How many times do we know we have the perfect video for a lesson but we can’t find where we saved it? This module helps you set up a system to manage all of those cool resources you find to use in class so that you can easily find them when you need them.

Module 7: Systems for professional development

As language teachers, there are few things we love more than learning ourselves! This module discusses systems for professional development, focusing on how to create the time to actually implement what you learned.

Bonus Module: Design your own system

What about all of the other areas of your language teacher life? This module lays out the basic principles of designing systems, so that you can create systems that work for you in these areas. 

Availability and Pricing

The course will launch May 24, and the initial enrollment will run May 24-June 14. The next enrollment period will be in the Fall, so if you’d like to use the summer to evaluate your systems, now is the time! Once you purchase the course, you have lifetime access, including to any additional modules or lessons added to the course in the future (I already have some planned!). This is so you can continue to use the course to evaluate and update your systems as your life situation changes.

The course price at launch will be $200. If you’d like additional, personalized help with one of your systems, you can purchase the course plus a one-to-one consultation on a system of your choice for $300. Once you’re enrolled in the course, you’ll also have the option to simply add on consultations for $100.  





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