2017 has been the year of fulfilling some of my dreams, for instance attending the IATEFL Conference for the very first time.

Some teachers have approached me asking about my experience attending the conference and to my surprise, when I asked them about attending the event, all of them would say that it was way out of their league.

 

I must say that going to any international ELT event, for the Brazilian teacher can be a huge problem when it comes to money, not only the average income is lower than in most countries, but we also did not learn anything about finances in school (and this problem is not only in the education field, but among all professionals).

In high school we were trained to sit ‘vestibular’ and take tests after tests, we were expected to pass exams and that was it, we never had the opportunity to discuss real problems, such as: “How should we spend our hard-earned money?” “How can we save money?”

 

For that reason, I came up with the idea of developing a session about planning our budget and a framework on how to decide whether or not the money is well invested.

Firstly, I would like to go back to my September post on Growth Mindset and Ikigai. By analyzing our Ikigai we will be better able to assure that our decisions are not only based on budget, but also our values. After defining your Ikigai, you will have a better picture of your goals.

 

Secondly, you must reflect about your PPF (Past, Present, Future). While pondering upon your Past, you must write down your background and what you used to think about yourself as a professional and a person. During the contemplation of your Present, you must evaluate your career and your personal life, your hopes and dreams, and your Ikigai. When you reach the Future, you should start setting up a plan, writing down all your goals, including how much you should save up to accomplish them and decide on a deadline. Every plan should have a deadline, otherwise we will not be able to focus on the target, in this case, on our development. By keeping our ‘eyes on the prize’, we will be more motivated and our effort better assessed.

 

At this point, you might be thinking you are done and your plan is complete. Quite the contrary. For a plan to truly be successful and reach its objectives, it must be feasible. Having worked in the Business English field for some time now, I have realized how frustrating it is when a plan is not successful, not due to insufficient effort, but absence of realism. Building up a pragmatic plan will not only allow you to be better prosperous in achieving your goals, but also avoiding frustration. Frustration is a symptom which leads to much more complex issues, including burnout, anxiety and depression, so keep your plans and your feet ‘close to the ground’.

 

In conclusion, a fruitful plan is about staying focused and having the ability to adapt, your Ikigai is in constant change, which means your plans should be too. Allow yourself to dream other dreams, growth mindset plays a key role in prosperous progress.

We can’t direct the wind. But we can adjust the sails.’ (Thomas S. Monson)

Karin Heuert Galvão
Karin Heuert Galvão has worked for 17 years as an EFL teacher and 9 years as Director of i-Study Interactive Learning, a language school based in São Paulo, Brazil. She holds, among others, the CELTA and IH Certificate in Online Tutoring. She also works as an ELT consultant for schools, helping them find solutions for their EFL programs. Karin is also a member of the Advisory board of EFLtalks, she has been working with the Intercultural Language SIG as their Vice-President (Braz-TESOL) and with the BESIG as their Treasurer (Braz-TESOL). In order to help teachers develop their careers and her own, Karin is always looking for opportunities to teach, learn and share ideas.