For over a year now, I have started interviewing several people of the ELT world for the ELTA Serbia newsletter and I am now going to share these interviews on my blog. I hope you find them interesting. My first interview was with the lovely Shelly Terrell. Here it goes.
Interview with Shelly Sanchez Terrell
by Vicky Papageorgiou
(This interview appeared first on the ELTA March-April 2016 issue )
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an international speaker, teacher trainer, elearning specialist, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert and has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, NPR, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the Big 10: Most Influential People Transforming EdTech by Tech & Learning (2015). In 2015, she founded Edspeakers to help spread diverse voices at education conferences worldwide.
Twitter handle- @ShellTerrell
Vicky : Hi! First of all, I would like to say that it is a pleasure to have you as a guest.
Shelly : It’s my pleasure. Whenever I can meet up with friends, even virtually, I try to make the time.
Vicky : I know that you are extremely busy every day trying to juggle an amazing number of tasks successfully so I‘d like to ask you to describe a typical day of yours.
Shelly : I have two types of typical days. If I’m not traveling, my day consists of at 1 to 3 virtual trainings with teachers either via a webinar or learning management system (LMS), grading, updating websites, phone call meetings for consultations or projects, conducting interviews, and hours on social media (Twitter, FB, Instagram, Voxer, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, my blog, etc.) for my various passion projects and as one of the social media managers for American TESOL. Most of my day is spent creating and designing content. Typically, I write at least one blog post or article a day, create a lesson plan, and do some graphic design. I also help at least one or more teachers find resources.
I travel at least 100 days a year and usually more. When I travel, I do most of the rest above in addition to giving keynotes and workshops in countries worldwide.
Vicky : Can you tell us where you are teaching/working currently?
Shelly : Currently, I work for American TESOL as an instructional designer, social media specialist, and instructor for the course I designed, ESLTEC.com. I also work as an ESL Specialist for the U.S. Embassy and Georgetown University. I also manage the various projects I’ve founded, which include The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers (30Goals.com) and Edspeakers.com.
Vicky : You initiated the movement called ‘30EduGoals’ and hundreds of teachers followed you and started writing, reflecting on their practice and blogging because of you. How does it feel really to be able to have an impact on so many people from different cultural backgrounds and different countries?
Shelly : I feel really blessed to be able to inspire and help teachers worldwide. Teachers are what help shape the world. I still pinch myself and am in awe that teachers complete the goals and share their passion with me daily.
Vicky : Your book is already a big hit. Do you have any future plans for a new book?
Shelly : I also published Learning to Go with The Round. I’m working on a few projects including a digital citizenship book, Byte-Sized Potential in a Digital World of Possibilities. This one involves lessons to help students learn science, math, and English, but also impact their world through social media. I’ve already tested out some activities with teachers worldwide and give some free templates on my blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, such as the student epic selfie adventure and creating hashtag movements. I am working on a lesson book based on the use of emoticons and emojis for writing and literacy. I also do creative writing and am working on finishing my second novel.
Vicky : I also know you are a visiting lecturer in Venezuela (or is this a permanent position? – You have to enlighten me here). How easy is it to teach in another country? What can be the possible problems?
Shelly : I love the teachers in Venezuela. I have many close friendships there now. VENTESOL has adopted me into their family and I’m thankful especially to VENTESOL President, Mary Allegra, who has created the many projects to have me visit and work with such a dedicated group. I am fortunate the U.S. Embassy and VENTESOL have continued to bring me back to help them develop and design online courses at the universities, train teachers on how to integrate technology and mobile learning, and help institutions develop their own textbooks.
Vicky : When DO you find some free time for your private life with such a busy schedule?
Shelly : I have to make time and will often send myself Google calendar reminders to take time off. I’ve learned to let go of perfection in my work and be satisfied with great work but having a life. When I travel to other countries, I take time to visit with friends and go on adventures. When I’m with friends, family, or loved ones, I put down my phone and other digital devices so I can give the moments the attention they deserve. Of course, this is a learning process and in the beginning I wasn’t so great at taking time for myself. I’ve realized it is really important so I keep up with my health, spirit, and passion.
Vicky : Thank you so much for your time!