The Basics of Professional Development

(deep breath) Ah! After a chaotic, busy and hard-working year, I finally had the chance to take some days off and I couldn’t be happier. We spend so much money and energy to build up our careers and develop ourselves as professionals and by exhausting ourselves throughout the year, attending courses, studying, planning lessons, delivering lessons, etc., we end up forgetting the most important piece of this complex puzzle of professional development: us.

I’m a teacher, business owner, parent, wife, daughter and a million other things, and because of that my life is full of chores, tasks, deadlines and running errands, and you must think: “Wow! How do you manage everything?” Here is a simple answer: By accepting the fact that I won’t be able to be perfect in every single moment of my life. By indulging myself to a nice cup of coffee in between classes or taking 5 minutes a day to just unwind. By having the occasional glass of wine on a Friday night, after teaching for 6 hours straight. By texting my friends and just asking them how their day was.

What I am trying to say is that we sometimes take for granted the moments of relaxing and the moments of solitude, when in fact what we need is to embrace those moments and make them a part of our year program. You are not a machine and you will never be one, so take good care of yourself.

Planning your career is much more than just planning the courses you want to take, the events you want to attend, the books you want to buy and the certificates or diplomas you want to own. Career planning is also about breaks and vacations, and quality time with your loved ones. Grant yourself some days off, remember to cherish the small things in life, by taking simple and inexpensive actions, you will be helping all the “creative juices” to flow again, and being creative is part of the job description when being a teacher.

Accept the fact that you won’t be able to balance everything 100% of the time, but that’s OK.

So, have you finished planning your CPD for 2018? Are you comfortable with your decisions and how you have designed your life? Have you left any room for developing your creativity?


Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein

So allow yourself some moments of fun.



Work-life balance

How to make work-life balance work

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Karin Heuert Galvão
Karin Heuert Galvão has worked for 17 years as an EFL teacher and 10 years as Director of i-Study Interactive Learning, a language school based in São Paulo, Brazil. She holds, among others, the CPE, the CELTA and IH Certificate in Online Tutoring. She is a Google Educator and also works as an ELT consultant for schools, helping them find solutions for their EFL programs. At BLT Institute, she works as a Teacher Trainer specialized in Business English. Karin is also a member of the Advisory board of EFLtalks, she has also been working with the Intercultural Language SIG as their Vice-President (Braz-TESOL) and with the BESIG as their Treasurer (Braz-TESOL). She is also a Speaking Examiner for Cambridge Assessment English and holds certificates as Life Coach by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), International Association of Coaching (IAC), the Professional Coaching Alliance (PCA), the Association for Coaching and Sociedade Latino Americana de Coaching (SLAC). In order to help teachers develop their careers and her own, Karin is always looking for opportunities to teach, learn and share ideas.