Guest post – Teacher Luiz Eduardo (Dudu)

Hello everyone! I know I’ve been quiet on the blog for a couple of months now, I do have some (good) reasons for that. First and foremost, this blogger got married in June, which meant a lot of hard work with planning everything, and a bit of partying afterwards. I’ve also attended and participated in the 13th National Braz-TESOL convention in Rio de Janeiro. I was really honoured for having been invited to be the MC for the convention (and I hope those who attended it thought it was a decent job), and I also presented a Pecha Kucha in the very first PK night in the history of Braz-TESOL. Most importantly, it was a great pleasure to have the chance to attend the convention with other staff members. One of these has actually written a guest post and has kindly accepted to be published here. Without further ado, here comes the first text of this new semester in Doing Some Thinking, a guest post written by teacher Luiz Eduardo, or, simply put, Teacher Dudu. I hope you enjoy what’s to come!


The teacher must have a heart

After attending a week of professional development, such as the 13th BRAZ-TESOL National Convention, teachers normally go back to their schools full of new ideas. They heard Christine Coombe talking about the 10 characteristic of a highly effective teacher; Kathi Bailey speaking about the bridges to link what students can say to what they want to say; Ben Goldstein and the metaphors in English; Jim Scrivener developing the interaction between teaching and learning; David Nunan mentioning the proto-language and real language; Luke Meddings giving ideas to teach unplugged; Herbert Puchta showing thoughtful aspects about Neurolinguistics; Nicky Hocky and the digital literacies; Jeremy Harmer elucidating the myth of multi-tasking; and Lindsay Clandfield talking about critical thinking, among other speakers. And I’m not even mentioning what teachers have certainly learned from all the workshops and talks they have attended in addition to the plenary sessions.

Photo on Flickr by riekhavok

Although they have probably enjoyed learning and remembering so many things, they now have a big problem in their minds, which is how to apply all those things in their classroom. Is everything suitable to their reality? Should they try to do everything they have heard from these highly-respected professionals in ELT? But… how???????

This is exactly my point in this reflection. Though teachers should always try to keep up to date, they are the ones who know their students, classroom, school, city and country. They are the ones who must feel when to use certain activity. They should know how adapt activities to different contexts. They have to make students embrace the activities and the ideas they’ve been presented with. They are in charge of the responsibility to teach their students. Finally, they are the ones who have to cope with such diverse teaching situations.

Thousands of activities without feeling aren’t worth it, just as feeling without any activity is equally worthless.

It’s possible to say that the teacher should have this balance: to keep up to date, but always remembering that they need a reality filter. As Christine Coombe ranked ’the calling to the profession’ as the number one characteristic of a good teacher, I think I can say that the teacher’s heart is this reality filter I’m talking about.

I fortunately work in a school which encourages teachers to try new ideas, and to be always pursuing self and professional development. I am, most definitely, looking forward to putting to use the new ideas I had during this fantastic brainstorming week.


I am a teacher at Atlantic Idiomas in Brasília, Brazil. I was born and I’ve grown up here in Brasília, the city which has the most beautiful sky in the world. I have a BA degree and teacher’s course in History from Brasilia’s Federal University (UnB). I am finishing my undergraduation Language course, majoring in English, this year; also at Brasilia’s Federal University (UnB). I’ve been teaching English since 2004 and I really love what I do. From now on, I want to participate more actively in the online teaching world.

6 thoughts on “Guest post – Teacher Luiz Eduardo (Dudu)

  1. When I first started teaching ‘heart’ and ‘feeling’ were pretty much all I had. I had absolutely no teacher training, I had never read anything about this topic and I had no idea who Jim Scrivener, Jeremy Harmer, Herbert Puchta, David Nunan were. I was thrown into the classroom and I was expected to teach, plan effective lessons, create activities, assess my students and somehow get them to speak English. Well, it was quite scary at first but despite my lack of formal teaching instruction, I had something of the utmost importance: I had this feeling you talk about. I went with my guts; I chose activities based solely on what I thought would work. I definitely made lots of mistakes and when I look back I often feel sorry for my first students, but I was doing something right: I was observing my students and I was teaching with all my heart. As we start reading and studying, this field may seem less subjective and more scientific, if you will. I can relate to a novice teacher who reads about ‘how to teach teens’ and thinks all he/she has been doing is wrong and must now follow the books and do what more experienced, knowledgeable teachers tell him to do. However, one must never forget that no matter how many researches, theories and experts you read, teaching is still not an exact science, there are no formulas. Teachers are only people and so are students, therefore, there’s always unpredictability in teaching and learning and we must always balance things. Teachers need to have many skills but the most basic of them is using your heart and trusting your guts. Yes, we should know the theories and keep up to date with the discussions and researches in our field and we should share, exchange ideas and develop professionally but we also have to remember that we are the ones in the classroom, we know our students’ needs and wants and have to be able to use our gut feeling when necessary.

    1. That is it Iara. You’ve got the idea and added a beautiful testimonial, thanks for sharing a bit about your teaching history. We should never lose our gut feeling, it is one of the important thing for a teacher. I am totally sure that you have this reality filter I’ve talked about. Congratulations!

  2. Through my childhood and in to my adult life I have had many important teachers who inspired me to accomplish my dreams. These wonderful inspiring people in my life have helped me in my decision to become a teacher. I strive to give my students not only my knowledge, but also my passion. I get involved in students’ lives by providing community information, help them deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s