Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Fabulous PLN Challenge - Interview with Leahn from Early EFL

Brad Patterson's inspirational PLN Interview Challenge brought me to Leahn Stanhope, a member of my fab PLN. Leahn writes the lovely Early EFL blog and she lives and works by the beach in the Canary Islands. I was delighted when the opportunity arose to ask Leahn the PLN Challenge questions. Here below are the standard 5 questions with an extra two thrown in at the end.

1) If your students were to label you with 3 adjectives, what might they be?

FUNNY seems to be a word I hear a lot lately, and I hope they would say knowledgeable and patient.

2) What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

I’ve absolutely no idea! The shopping and cooking are left in the hands of my boyfriend. Let me just get up off the sofa and check. Okay, lots of salad stuff, fruit, chicken, sausages, feta cheese, camembert, olives, orange juice, eggs, melon, yoghurt and sandwich making stuff too!

3) If you weren’t a teacher, what might your profession be?

That’s such a difficult question. I know what I wouldn’t want to be but it’s much more difficult to say what I’d like to be. Perhaps a foreign aid worker, dog trainer or horse whisperer!

4) What do you find most difficult about the teaching profession, or What has been your most difficult class as a teacher?

Don’t get me started with TEFL (it’s a love-hate relationship). It’s great when you start out, but as you get older it’s much more difficult to put up with nine month contracts and working in the evenings! Luckily, I now work 10 months of the year and have a morning job!

I’ve been lucky with classes, most of the teaching I’ve done has been in private language schools. The most challenging teaching situation I’ve faced has been in the last three years working in the state system, which has meant large classes, mixed abilities, children with no pencils and teens with no motivation.

5) What was the last book/movie you read/saw, and what have you seen/read way too many times?

I’m mad about books and films. I’m currently reading a graded reader as I have a German exam on Thursday but I’ve got a Spanish book on the go too, it’s called La Catedral del Mar by Idelfonso Falcones. I love Isabel Allende. I can’t help re-reading her books. My all time favourite is Stories of Eva Luna.

The last film I saw was Babel with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. I love the Aliens films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, ET, all the Star Wars films, Platoon and so many more. Just remembered, Gladiator, I must have seen it five times at least!

And here are the two extra questions!

As having quite a few furkids is a connection between us, can you share a few stories about 1 or 2 of your pets and how you first met them or got them?

At the moment we have 6 cats and 6 dogs. Three of the dogs are foster dogs. I seem to have been collecting animals over the past 6 years. I got involved in voluntary work for a cat British based cat charity called Twinkle Trust and the rest as they say is history.This is CC or Crissy as she’s called. I met her a couple of weeks before Christmas last year. She was sitting outside a big electrical and household store. It was really strange; she was just sitting on the door mat as people rushed in and out. As I walked in, I bent down to stroke her and was surprised because she was very friendly. I went in and bought my paint. Feeling guilty, I asked the security guard about her. He told me that he’d been feeding her for a few weeks. I reversed out of the parking lot thinking that it was fine. She had a feeder and she’d be okay. By the time I arrived home I’d decided to go back and get her. It has taken her ages to integrate into the household but now she’s a happy little cat..

What's the best part of living in the Canary Islands? (For me it was definitely the fab beaches!)

The weather, the beaches, the completely laid back pace of life here and most importantly wearing flip flops to go to work!

Thank you very much Leahn for answering these questions!

It was lovely getting to know Leahn a bit more and our love of furkids and our considerable combined collection of 27 of them is quite incredible, I think!! I lived on the same beautiful island in the Canaries (see photo above) as Leahn for a year in 1984. I also love Isabel Allende's the Stories of Eva Luna! So, quite a few connections between us both.

Leahn is an active member of ELTChat held on Twitter every Wednesday, and recently she summarised the "Storytelling" session held on May 18th. It's an excellent summary and contains lots of fantastic links and resources on this very interesting subject.

If you like, you can read another PLN interview on Eva's post "My Wonderful PLN -2".
Watch out for more PLN Interviews on Brad's blog here. Thanks Brad for coming up with this challenge!
You can read all about the Challenge Interviews on Dave Dodgson's amazing page as well.


sueannan said...

Thanks for giving me the chance to get to know Leanne a bit better. This challenge is such a great idea

Brad said...

Howdy Janet and Leahn-

Canary islands... oh... ... that's nice.... ... (jealousy is difficult to activate through typing fingers) ;-)

Horse-whisperer, huh... well with all those cats and dogs I'm sure you just might have the knack for cross-special communication :) I love spending downtime with a cat or dog, and sinking into their eyes and trying to repeat whatever they do.

(don't have one--- allergic wife and small appts = bad combo)

Thanks again 4 sharing both of you. Cheers, b

Sharon Hartle said...

Lovely interview:-) i particularly liked the extra questions and the animals. My cat Haggis purred away at the sight of Crissy.
Sharon :-)

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Sue

Thanks for popping by. Yes, I agree this challenge is definitely a brilliant idea. I'm enjoying finding out more about so many different people. It's great fun!

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Brad

Thanks for commenting here. The interviews keep getting better and better and it's all great stuff. Thanks to you for thinking it all up!!

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Sharon

Lovely to see you here - Isn't Crissy such a lovley cat! Glad you enjoyed the interview :-)

Language Garden said...

Haha, all the talk about efl, but all the comments are about your cats and dogs. Cats are the best. Dogs, well, I let people like dogs, I can see their qualities, but cats are better. They told me so.

Leahn said...

Hi Janet,Sue,Brad and Sharon,

Thanks Janet for graciously offering to interview me!

Thanks Brad for setting up th challenge, it really helps with the "P" in PLN.

Thanks to Sue and Sharon for reading!

I'm sure CC would like Haggis if he's a nice boy. Our persian chases her terribly!

Got to walk the dogs and clean the house which is a full time job in itlsef with so many animals.

Janet is it the same for you?

Anonymous said...

Hi Janet and Leahn!

Thank you so much for interviewing Leahn - I like how you looked at the things you have in common at the end! You are two lovely ladies I would love to meet in person.

How nice to get to know more about you. And how nice that you live on the Canary Islands! Lucky you : ) I wish you all the best in your work and life! Thanks for a great interview.

Warm regards to you both,

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi David

Lovely to see you here! You're right - there is a lot of animal talk, but that's because I guess they play a big part in a lot of people's lives. We have 15 at the moment, soon to be 12, so that should be a bit more manageable (lol). I have to confess I prefer cats even though they can be quite aloof at times.


Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Leahn

In answer to your question, yes having so many furkids is practically a full time job!! K is responsible for the dogs and chickens and I've got the easy bit - feeding the cats!

Samantha went for Kelly (our rescued stray dog) and scratched him the other day because he got a bit too close to her kittens.

The chickens have accepted the kittens and ignore them, so all in all they are a fairly harmonious bunch, luckily :-)

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Vicky

You are so kind - it's great that you popped in to comment. Thank you so much!!