Self-care & life balance as TESOLers: An interview with Liz England

I met Liz England a few years ago at a TESOL Convention.  Liz combines warmth and wisdom gained from an impressive career in the United States and has worked in five continents.  Liz is the author of TESOL Career Path Development - Creating Professional Success - a book I highly recommend.  I wanted to learn more about one of the chapters on Life Balance and find out how it relates to teacher self-care.  Have a read of my interview with Liz below:

1. Liz – first of all, congratulations on your book TESOL Career Path Development – Creating Professional Success. I have read your book and consider it the perfect navigation tool or GPS for all TESOLers at any stage of our career.

Thanks, Patrice, for the opportunity to share some ideas on TESOL career path development!  Your work in teacher self-care is a natural connection for this topic.  It’s a pleasure to be here.  As we all shelter in place now, we have a chance to be together...

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What I learned from digital detoxing


I’ve seen a lot of articles in the past year or so related to digital detoxes – why we should do it, how to do it, the benefits, etc.

It’s no surprise that people are writing about this topic because we have become reliant on technology and at an earlier and earlier age.  (Just this morning while walking through the beautiful trails near my home, I saw a parent riding a bicycle pulling a child in a basket while he/she played on a cell phone. Now I’m a parent so who am I to judge, but there seems to be something wrong with spending time in nature while staring at a screen!  And it’s not just kids!)

So, what exactly is a digital detox?  The Oxford Dictionaries Online added this definition in 2013:

a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world. 

e.g. "break free of...

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What's up with self-care apps?

phone apps self care Jul 27, 2019

Are you surprised to learn that in 2018, self-care apps topped Apple’s trends list? Consumers spent more than $32M US on mindfulness apps like Calm, Headspace and 10% Happier. This year, Pinterest’s top 100 trends for 2019 indicates that the search for sleep apps has increased by 116%. 

So, are apps the answer to better self-care?  

According to writer Nicole Spector, wellness trends are about owning self-care. What she means is that the trends are less about gadgets and more about putting in the time.

It doesn’t appear that self-care apps are going to disappear anytime soon so when I saw that the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) collaborated to create an assessment framework for mental health apps, I took a closer look.

According to the MHCC and CIHR, the number of mental health apps is growing every day and determining which ones are reliable and actually work is even harder.

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Why you should care about self-care

burn out self care Oct 08, 2016

Exactly one year ago, I decided to leave classroom teaching after 20 years. My decision was based on a few reasons but to be honest, I was exhausted (I hate to use the term burned out). I was also bored from the sheer repetitiveness of teaching English. I didn’t leave the ESL field completely and in the last two semesters (I still think in terms of semesters and not months!), I have been teaching online, writing and travelling.  When a friend of mine asked me to supply teach for 5 weeks, I decided that I was ready to return to the ESL classroom.

My class of new immigrants to Canada from Sierre Leone, Chad, Burma, Syria, Afghanistan, Vietnam, China and Somalia.

As teachers, we give so much to our students. It can be hard to find the time and energy to care for ourselves, too. Self-care - the act of taking the time and space to nurture ourselves - is not something that is “nice” to do but it is essential for our well-being as teachers....

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