7 February 2012

Road to Hell...good intentions...

Since I'm congenitally unable to keep either an umbrella or a diary for longer than a week, I don't have an impressive history with blogs. I've started and abandoned more than I care to remember, and the only one I've ever managed to update regularly is an image-only tumblr, but since joining Twitter (@pterolaur) and starting to connect with the ELT community there, I've really been feeling that blogging about my work is important. Not only does it throw open channels of communication with other education professionals globally, but also seems to be a valuable tool for reflection and personal development. And so, in a triumph of hope over experience, I've set up The Daily Ptefldactyl (see what I did there?) - it may not ultimately be daily, but I'm going to try. Honestly.

Mentees making an Angry Birds reward board, 2011
Perhaps I should say a little about my background and current situation. I taught post-16 ESOL, mainly to refugees, in London for five years, then spent two years at a British Council teaching centre in Sri Lanka. I'm still employed by the BC but am now based in Malaysian Borneo on a fixed-term project (Jan 2011 to Sept 2013), mentoring and training primary English teachers. I'm responsible - eep! - for 10 teachers in five schools, two ethnic Chinese and three Bidayuh (a local indigenous group). It's been...challenging getting to grips with the public education system in another country, especially one as diverse as Malaysia, and I'm hoping that writing about my successes and failures will help me make better sense of what I'm doing and maybe even prove useful to someone in a similar situation. We'll see...

...and in the meantime, the project is recruiting the last of its 120 mentors now, so if you want to know anything about the job or Borneo please feel free to leave questions here :)


  1. Good luck with your new blog and congratulations on your return to the ELT blogosphere :) Hope BC Malaysia is treating you nicely. I've worked with your team on a project once.

  2. Hi,
    I just got offered the mentoring job in Borneo and only have 2 days to decide. I've been searching the net for everythng I can find, and have enjoyed reading your blog. I'd love to ask you some questions about the job and life in Borneo. If you happen to get the message and wouldn't mind sharing, please email me at kesslernyc@gmail.com.
    Many thanks!