Thursday, October 13, 2011

From Tecnophobe to TechnoArtist - An Educator Journey

Cleidoca and SuperDuper
I've known Cleide, Cleidita, Cleidoca since I started working at Casa Thomas Jefferson in 1999. What really stroke me about that lovely teacher with a constant smile on her face was her natural artistic talent. At that time, to find educational resources with  the exact pedagogical objective we had in mind was a herculean task, but if you had Cleide as a co-worker, your material problems were solved. With a firm hand and any piece of paper, she could do wonders in seconds, skillfully drawing any scene, character or object you're looking after. I still remember a set she drew for me on scrap paper and I laminated it to keep it forever! Forever is too long, though.

On one side there was Cleide with her innate abilities, on the other a poor mortal like me enjoying myself with the early experiments involving technology in the classroom and willing to share with teachers what I learned.

Fast forward a decade. You can picture Cleide and me still pursuing excellence in the classroom, but through different strategies. I kept bugging Cleide to amplify her artistic talents by exploring the digital possibilities of the 21st century. Well, Cleide thought she was a technophobe at heart, that  technology and her didn't match, that it was not for her...You know how the story goes. However, I never gave up. Being an optimist at heart, I persisted and insisted until Cleide couldn't resist the call. To make the story short, Cleide is now multiplying tech ideas with her colleagues about what she has learned, she's coaching others, she has partnered with another teacher and is a presenter of digital project ideas for the English classroom. I've told her how powerful the connection between technology and tapping into one's passion could be, igniting a renewed motivation to go beyond, with no boundaries to what might be the next big thing in her teaching career. Cleide is still the sweetest smiley teacher I met last century, but with a different spark in her eyes and full of tech ideas and projects for one more century!

Learn more about Cleide, our guest this week, meet her character SuperDuper and check her self-published book, which might be super helpful for your beginner's EFL/ESL classroom.

You are a very experienced teacher, but in the past a technophobe, right, Cleide? What made you change?
The fact that many teachers were using technology in class but me. Also, Dani Lyra, who motivated me and taught me lots of things. We tend not to like what we don't know. What is not familiar to us. This happens with food, cars, people, places. if Idon't know it, I don't like it.

What advice would you give to any educator who is very skillful, but tired of the same old things?
Try different things, experiment, make mistakes, but try. If you don't know about something, ask. If you're in doubt, ask. See other people doing it and do it too. SHARE! I'm absolutely sure there'll be at least one colleague willing to help or teach you something. And in case you think you won't be able to accomplish that, because it's overwhelming, I have news for you! You will.

How has the experience of combining your passion for art and technology been?
It's been crazy (meaning fun) . I never thought I would come this far. I'm amazed with myself. This semester, I have been able to make three digital projects with one group of students only and the semester has not ended yet. I haven't had the opportunity to explore all the tools I have available yet but I'm about to.

You now have a wonderful online space for your students, as well as a resource-rich page for educators - the Superduperctj. What are your main goals there? Who's Super Duper? What do you think your students have gained from this fun red-haired character?

I created this character to illustrate my wiki. Students like him, although many of them think he's a girl (giggles), I think that deep down inside, he's actually my alterego. I try to make him as different from me as possible but there is always something in common. My plans? I haven't thought about it yet, but as soon as something comes up, I'll let you know. I'll be glad if I can count on you!

You've even published your first book! How can educators and learners profit from it? Where can they find it?
I published a book about Super Duper's routine, which is about action verbs, the use of the simple present and sequence words. There are also pages with activities suggested for the book. Teachers and students will like it. It's available at www.lulu.com . There is the traditional paper book and the downloadable version. If you want to get your copy for classroom use, you can access it here.

What are your next steps?
I'm involved with some illustrations for a friend's album. Not EFL related, but I'm planning on publishing some more material.


Check Cleide's wiki at http://superduperctj.pbworks.com 

And if you have any questions or comments to Cleide, leave them in the comment area. I'm sure she'll stop by to answer you.

2 comments:

  1. I love the interview. Cleide is a real inspiration. Congratulations, Carla, for choosing Cleide for this space. The book must be fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally agreed, Cláudio! The link to the book is available in the post, Cláudio. It is cute, colorful and full of ideas for teachers.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete

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