About Author

Hi everyone!

I’m an energetic English teacher, a keen lifelong learner, a good daughter and a cheerful friend. I started to show up in the Blogosphere at my thirteenth year of teaching. Some people believe that number 13 is unlucky but apparently it brought me luck. :)

My blogging story has begun with Read More...
A journey on “NILE” ;)

A journey on “NILE” ;)

I am an English instructor at Bahcesehir University Preparatory School, a freelance teacher trainer, a materials developer and a blogger. I just completed the online Intercultural Awareness in Language Teaching course of NILE and I feel so proud and glad to have finished it with a distinction. I attended a face-to-face course at NILE earlier, [...]

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Refresh your class! – An online course you can enrol in for free ;)

Refresh your class! – An online course you can enrol in for free ;)

I believe we are really lucky to be 21st century teachers. Reaching a teacher in another city or country to share ideas and experiences was like a dream years ago, but now it is a click away. We are surrounded by blogs, wikis, forums, online courses and so on. SEETA (South Eastern Europe Teachers Associations) [...]

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MERLIN Says: Speaking Tips from Merlin, the Young Warlock

MERLIN Says: Speaking Tips from Merlin, the Young Warlock

You fancy learning English and you really want to improve your spoken English, but you don’t know what to do.  Then you’ve come to the right place! Merlin, the young Warlock is here to give you some magic tips. If you want to be a powerful ‘knight’ of English language, just have a look and [...]

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37 classroom tips from a teacher turning 37:)

37 classroom tips from a teacher turning 37:)

I really don’t remember calculating my age before ‘29’. Everything started after I turned 30:) Today is August 18th and it is my birthday. Just having another discussion (with myself) about how old I am turning. I was born in 1976 and that makes me a ‘Dragon’ in the Chinese Zodiac. So am I ‘36’ [...]

More...
Give me some sunshine!

Give me some sunshine!

SONG: ‘Give me some sunshine’ by Rajkumar Hirani LEVEL: Elementary / Pre-intermediate AGE: Teenagers / Young Adults / Adults As an ‘enthusiastic’ (or maybe a crazy English teacher:) ) I always feel like the antennas of a radio receiving every little signal around so that I can find something useful and enjoyable for my students. [...]

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A Bit of Nostalgia: ‘Blogathoning’ in Spain

A Bit of Nostalgia: ‘Blogathoning’ in Spain

DAY 1 Barca, Catalonia I’m happy to be in Barcelona (after a cancelled flight and another one delayed because of the heavy snow in Istanbul). I feel like an author or a journalist writing on a journey during that journey:) I have always wanted to do that and here I am:)One of my colleagues and [...]

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My Blog has been reincarnated:)

My Blog has been reincarnated:)

It was nearly a month ago. I was so happy to have finished my post “Magic Calls Thee – Let’s meet this weekend!” Like all bloggers, I wanted to share my recent post on my Facebook wall and clicked on the “Share” button. I was feeling like a kid who was ready to show his [...]

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“Magic Calls Thee!” Let’s meet this weekend:)

“Magic Calls Thee!” Let’s meet this weekend:)

No matter where you live (on Earth:) we can all meet and share our stories this weekend! I’m inviting you to a story sharing conference hosted by British Council Turkey. I can imagine what you are thinking right now:) Don’t worry! You don’t have to leave your house or change your clothes. You can enjoy [...]

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You are cordially invited…

You are cordially invited…

You are cordially invited to a free series of face-to-face workshops by the British Council Turkey. As an international organisation that cares and respects for the diversity, the British Council is always ready to create equal opportunities, so here is one of these great occasions: The great team of the British Council Turkey has been working [...]

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Ice, Dice and Smiles

Ice, Dice and Smiles

During this time of the year, you come across lots of ‘back to school’ activities. Considering breaking some blocks of ice, I have created this ice-breaker activity. The only thing you need is a dice and I guarantee a lot of smiles:) Let’s break some ice with a dice:) I like hanging around stationeries and [...]

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ELTİSTEK Schoolsjamie keddiejane willisjapanese earthquake and tsunamikeep calm in classkilling ten birds with one stonelanguage fearlanguage learning blog 2012language teachingLaura Woodwardlearning a foreign languagelearning EnglishLeila Tehranilesson plans about harry potterlesson plans based the Olympics themelexiophileslindsay clandfieldlistening and writing activityliverpool registered online bloggerLondon 2012lori litelosing weight by writingLOVElove studentsLubigan Elementary Schoollucky charms in classmagic calls theemagic in your classroomMerlin is giving speaking tipsmerve oflazmerve oflaz a Glasgow Online Registered Bloggermerve oflaz in spainmerve oflaz turning 37merve oflaz's birthdaymerve oflaz's new domainmessages for the teachermoving onmusic in classmy blogathon resolutionmy precious blogahton t-shirtnaomi epsteinnew agenew year activityNILEnorwich institute language educationnorwichinstitutelanguageeducationolympicsolympics 2012Olympics theme in the classroomone minuteone minute activityonlinecourseorder of the activitiesovercome problemsparentspaul seligsonpeacePersonalizing Language LearningPersonalizing Language Learning by Griff Griffiths and Katy Keohane from Cambridge University Press 2000picture storiespoem dedicated to blogathonprofessional developmentraising the students' awarenessRaymond Kerrreading activitiesreading in classreading timereflecting in classreflections and innovationsrefresh your classrefresh your class merve oflazrelaxationright brain left brain dominanceRob Lewisrod bolithorole playrun merve runsabancı university elt conferencesabancı university school of languagessanjaschool sweet schoolSEETASEETA merve oflazSEETA online courseSEETA volunteersseven wonders of isteksilence in classSirin and AdamSirin Soyoz and Adam Simpsonsong activitiessong lessonssorting stickssorting sticks of a teachersorting sticks of a teacher by merve oflazspeaking activitiesspeaking activityspeaking fluentlyspeaking tipsspeaking tips for studentsstories are calling for youstories for schoolsstory sharing web conferencestory sharing web conference 2013stress free kidsstress managementstudents decide the order of the activitiesstudents decidingstudents decisionsstudents don't do homeworkstudents of the futurestudents taking responsibilitySue Leathertea and coffee activitytea sticks for class activitiesteacher need helpteacher trainingteachers are mothersteachers bloggingteachers of crystal childrenteachers' jobteachers' problemsteachingteaching EnglishTeachingEnglishTeachingEnglish blogsten ways to use word cardstestimonial for NILE by merve oflazthanx to clustrmapsthe children of the futurethe Henry Brothersthe people of the futurethe personality you carry with youthe power of collaborationthe teachers of the futureThe Third ELT Conferencethethirdeltthis ending is a beginningtips for beginning Blogathon runnerstips for bloggingtips for spoken englishtips for the overloaded teacherstoday is the first day of the rest of your lifetoday's menutoday's menu for studentstom godfreytop 100 language loverstop 100 language lovers 2012turning from theory to practice in ELTTweetChattwo drinks that changed the worldunforgettable elt ideasusing movies in classusing music in classusing songs and music in classusing songs in classusing tea sticks in the lessonvocabulary teachingvote for language learning blog 2012vote for merve oflazvote for top 100 language lovers 2012warm-up for reading activitieswarmerwceswces 2012wces at barcelona universitywebquestswelcome back to schoolwh- photoswh- photos by merve oflazword cardsworking with parentsworld conference on educational sciences 2012writing activitieswriting activitywww.merveoflaz.netwww.mytowntutors.com©Griff Griffiths and Katy Keohane Cambridge University Press 2000

a journey on NILE

I am an English instructor at Bahcesehir University Preparatory School, a freelance teacher trainer, a materials developer and a blogger. I just completed the online Intercultural Awareness in Language Teaching course of NILE and I feel so proud and glad to have finished it with a distinction. I attended a face-to-face course at NILE earlier, [...]

 
SEETA logo

I believe we are really lucky to be 21st century teachers. Reaching a teacher in another city or country to share ideas and experiences was like a dream years ago, but now it is a click away. We are surrounded by blogs, wikis, forums, online courses and so on. SEETA (South Eastern Europe Teachers Associations) [...]

 
Merlin on ©BBC

You fancy learning English and you really want to improve your spoken English, but you don’t know what to do.  Then you’ve come to the right place! Merlin, the young Warlock is here to give you some magic tips. If you want to be a powerful ‘knight’ of English language, just have a look and [...]

 
merveoflaz turning 37

I really don’t remember calculating my age before ‘29’. Everything started after I turned 30:) Today is August 18th and it is my birthday. Just having another discussion (with myself) about how old I am turning. I was born in 1976 and that makes me a ‘Dragon’ in the Chinese Zodiac. So am I ‘36’ [...]

 
3idiots1_634824539631370572

SONG: ‘Give me some sunshine’ by Rajkumar Hirani LEVEL: Elementary / Pre-intermediate AGE: Teenagers / Young Adults / Adults As an ‘enthusiastic’ (or maybe a crazy English teacher:) ) I always feel like the antennas of a radio receiving every little signal around so that I can find something useful and enjoyable for my students. [...]

 
merveoflaz countdown

THREE It is believed that each number has a special meaning. Since it is the last three days of the Blogathon, I want to devote this post to the number “3”. Three is a sacred number in most of the religions because of being the number of divine. Three was also considered the number of [...]

 
wces opening merveoflaz

DAY 1 Barca, Catalonia I’m happy to be in Barcelona (after a cancelled flight and another one delayed because of the heavy snow in Istanbul). I feel like an author or a journalist writing on a journey during that journey:) I have always wanted to do that and here I am:)One of my colleagues and [...]

 
Click on the image to connect Liverpool Online!

Hello from a Liverpool Online blogger:) IATEFL 2013 is starting today. This year I had the chance to attend the conference in person. There are 2500 ELT professionals from 100 countries and there will be 500 talks and workshops and it is such a great pleasure and honour to be one of the presenters. I’m [...]

 
merveoflaz.net2

It was nearly a month ago. I was so happy to have finished my post “Magic Calls Thee – Let’s meet this weekend!” Like all bloggers, I wanted to share my recent post on my Facebook wall and clicked on the “Share” button. I was feeling like a kid who was ready to show his [...]

 
storysharingwebconf BC

No matter where you live (on Earth:) we can all meet and share our stories this weekend! I’m inviting you to a story sharing conference hosted by British Council Turkey. I can imagine what you are thinking right now:) Don’t worry! You don’t have to leave your house or change your clothes. You can enjoy [...]

 
merveoflaz blogathon tshirt

Today is the third day of the Blogathon and I feel happy and relieved with the very scientific new resolution I found for myself. Losing weight! Yes, sounds crazy but as I said it is scientific and proved:)A couple of days ago, I came across a Facebook post shared by Oya Uslu, one of the [...]

 
Marmara-20120714-02567

This is a speaking activity that your students will enjoy a lot. It aims to help the students use wh- questions in different tenses.The only thing you need is a power point presentation of “your” photos taken in different places at different times. You can choose the best shots in 2012 and that might be [...]

 
today's menu merveoflaz

This is an activity to be used when your students are fed up with all the activities and feel overloaded. Your students will probably love to be involved in the lesson plan by ordering the stages of the lesson.At the very beginning of the lesson, write the title “Today’s Menu” on the board and under the [...]

 
merveoflaz workshops

You are cordially invited to a free series of face-to-face workshops by the British Council Turkey. As an international organisation that cares and respects for the diversity, the British Council is always ready to create equal opportunities, so here is one of these great occasions: The great team of the British Council Turkey has been working [...]

 
foam stamps2 - merveoflaz

During this time of the year, you come across lots of ‘back to school’ activities. Considering breaking some blocks of ice, I have created this ice-breaker activity. The only thing you need is a dice and I guarantee a lot of smiles:) Let’s break some ice with a dice:) I like hanging around stationeries and [...]

 
merveoflaz why

You are a great big teacher! Hardworking, careful, cooperative, organized, full of energy and friendly. You love your job and you care for each individual in your classes, but when it is one of “those” weird moments, things suddenly can turn upside down… Here are some of “those” moments: ·         Why does one of the [...]

 
future ahead concept

When I read about the main idea of the 29th ESL / EFL / ELL Blog Carnival on Sharon Turner’s blog, I was sure what to blog about and wrote this post especially for the carnival:)     I always think that there is a hidden mother soul deep inside me (though I’m not one [...]

 
online stopwatch

This speaking activity aims to help the students develop their fluency and overcome their anxiety to speak in front of the others. It can be adapted to all levels.What you need is a set of cards with topics / titles on them. Students pick up one in turns and try to talk about the topic [...]

 
top100-vote-for-this-blog-2 (1)

Being a part of the Blogosphere always makes me feel connected to the world. It is like to have a shiny aura (probably the most colourful one) surrounding me  by being in touch with other colleagues to learn from each other by sharing experiences. There are countless blogs that provide useful resources and give the [...]

 
Merve-Oflaz-150x150

I stepped into the blogosphere by joining in “Blogathon 2011” that took place on the TeachingEnglish website. Being involved in a blog marathon has been one of the best moves in my professional development. It was my first blogging experience, but I was so lucky to have met so many great colleagues ready to swap ideas [...]

 
me and my sweet mum

Preface: I want to dedicate this post to my dear mum. She is not a sportsperson. She is not running at the Olympics. She is not planning to use the ideas below as she is not an English teacher, but today is her birthday. I very much appreciate her understanding and support since I started [...]

 
6793030574_56d82121c2_o

The official website of IATEFL 2012 provided us with the online access for the conference, gave the chance to join in the chats and feel the IATEFL spirit even when we were miles away.  The conference is over practically, but it is still on theoretically:) The videos of the interviews and some sessions are waiting [...]

 
6793109586_f45a2b86dc_o

“IATEFL”, a great big event held every year! If you couldn’t make it, you still have a chance to be a part of it in the comfort of your home. Glasgow Online gives you the chance to watch some sessions live. You can also chat using the “LiveStream Chat” window and share your ideas during [...]

 
DSCF1580

  After taking part at 24th Edition of EFL / ESL / ELL Blog Carnival on Eva Simkesyan‘s blog , this is the second time I’m attending a blog carnival. Thanks to Adam Simpson and Larry Ferlazzo for hosting great posts on their blogs.  For the 27th Blog Carnival, I will share an exciting lesson [...]

 
blogathon-story

Bringing ideas all together Leading the discussions and helping others Organizing new posts every day Getting replies and comments, ready to share and care A door to be entered into another world waiting over there The taste of each post makes me feel great about all that jazz Hearty welcomes and warm good byes On air [...]

 
blogathon-story

I’ve put on my marathon t-shirt (number 120) again and started running at the blog marathon. Feeling very excited and full of energy, I’m trying to reach the finish line. The Blogathon has been a lot to me so far. As one of the silver award winners of last year I opened the doors of [...]

 
lori lite

I am so honoured and delighted to be hosting Lori Lite from the USA. Being very much inspired with her brilliant ideas and the positive energy she spreads, I invited her to my blog. Many thanks to Lori, Founder of Stress Free Kids,  for accepting to be my first guest. Anxiety can affect a child’s ability to think clearly and retain information. It [...]

 
Saying goodbye...

Dogus University 1st International ELT Conference provided hundreds of teachers new ideas, new techniques and approaches. The album below inspired me, so I made this crazy comparison between each thing I wanted to mention and a period in music:) Name of the Album: Unforgettables of Dogus 1st International ELT Conference – Turning Challenges Into Opportunities Genre: [...]

 
merveoflaz sorting sticks of a teacher

As Adam Simpson mentioned in one of his posts, we have millions of things to do as teachers. Sometimes there is very little time to create materials and develop tools. That’s why I prefer to use the tools / materials I create for different purposes.At the beginning of the year, I wrote my students’ names on [...]

 
bird_big_friends

I have prepared millions of documents for homework, hundreds of exams and power point presentations since I started teaching. I changed some exams into worksheet and some quizzes into weekend homework but I have never used a document for ten different purposes till I discovered the functionality of ‘word cards’. They have become my magic cards by [...]

 
back-to-school

No matter what level or age you are teaching, another new academic year has started. Like every other new thing, a new term brings new ideas, new plans and new hopes together. For me, it has always been like starting a cute brand new notebook and a cute pen (probably a fancy glitter fur one:)) [...]

 
Angel02a

Teachers are able to use every little thing as a tool for an activity at any stage of the lesson in their classrooms. Imagine yourself bringing a lunch box or a lunch bag to the classroom and asking your students what it reminds them and encouraging them to predict what is inside. I’m sure the [...]

 
merveoflaz the personality u carry with u

This is a wonderful activity that you can use as a warmer, a filler or a game. It can even be used to introduce yourself in the class at the beginning of the year. Level: It’s appropriate for lower-intermediate students, but of course you may adapt it to any level by changing the language the students should [...]

 
merve oflaz

There are films that change your life. There are songs that give you a very strong heart beat and there are books that spiritualize you. There are also some days or events that change your whole life. My story begins on a nice snowy day in Istanbul of the 1990s… It was the day when [...]

 
2007_harry_potter_order_of_the_phoenix_wall_001

Would you want to change teaching into a magical mystery tour? If yes, you may try to create a Harry Potter themed class and enjoy the journey. Hogwarts Houses: This is a great method that will help your classroom management. Divide the classroom into four groups and name each group as one of the Hogwarts [...]

 
merveoflaz's sweet students

Just like many teachers, I have coped with millions of problems since I started teaching. I fought with parents who changed their own children into weary slaves. I offended against the traditional teaching methods of some colleagues by whirling around with the new ideas I came across. I rose to the surface after each technical [...]

 
elt_05_thumb[2]

This weekend I felt like I was in another world. The world of İSTEK ELT! It was a world full of surprises, precious treasures, magical tools and fairy tale characters. I enjoyed every minute of the splendid work of art. Here is the list of the Seven Wonders of İSTEK ELT World: 1. Keynote Sessions [...]

 
i_love_80s

Things often make me feel quite nostalgic nowadays. Today I remembered the time I was into learning English. It was in 1980’s (It’s like ages ago. Wow I’m getting older!)  and unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to learn English at a private school in Turkey or abroad. We had English lessons at our school [...]

 
1230600888-hope

While we were praying for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the nuclear emergency which threatens all of us popped up. As if all these were not enough, the countries started to attack each other. I sometimes wonder where this ‘hatred’ comes from. Why do people still fight? Why on earth are [...]

 
twit

I felt so excited when I received Sharon Turner’s e-mail inviting me to #ECLPSCHAT on Twitter. Sharon from Sabancı University was congratulating me for the Silver Award I received on ELT Blogathon 2011 and she was asking if I was interested in taking part in the virtual conference platform of Sabancı University to tell about [...]

 
welcome

Dear Colleagues, Dear Student Teachers, Dear Students, Dear Friends and Dear Others:) Welcome to my blog! It’s a privilege for me to host you in here. I hope you will like my posts and share your thoughts and feelings. I’m so excited about my blog. I just can’t wait to be in touch with my [...]

 
news5

There are a lot of endings. Happy endings, sad endings, twist endings, ruined endings, surprised endings and so on. Endings and beginnings are like matryoshka dolls. One closes the other and one opens the other. Then each beginning is an ending and each ending is a beginning. Blogathon has been a marathon start for me. [...]

 
news4

“We have a mind. We have feelings. To separate the two is to deny all that we are. To integrate the two is to help us realise what we might be.” George Isaac Brown says. “When learning a foreign language, feelings of uncertainty, and even fear often develop in the learner. It is clear that [...]

 
news3

This is a little quiz to have an idea about your students’ brain dominances. The test was given by Gulfem Aslan, a teacher trainer,  at a seminar in British Council in 1999. Thanks to her. 1. Are you better at recognizing and remembering names or faces? Choose one: Names                         Faces 2 .Are you an organized individual [...]

 
listen-heart

This is a very enjoyable writing activity that will make your lessons stunning and impressive. 1. Find a picture story. There are many nice pictures in writing books. 2. Find some sounds that can refer to each picture. Try to find more than one for each picture. Your aim in here is to make the [...]

 
unhappy_employee1

I am sure you also have students who do not do their homework. This must be one of the most common problems of us as the teachers. And I am one of those teachers. My Problem The students who don’t do their homework. What I always do Keep a record of the students (in a [...]

 
After the Hat Fair, Winchester

Last summer, I went to England with my students. As you can guess, it was a big responsibility. When I learnt I was accepted as the group leader of the students, I felt so happy. Thanks to my school! It was a summer school programme providing some trips to many places.  Of course, my favourite [...]

 
avatar

I think a special relationship emerged between me and the Blogathon t-shirt. The number on it is so familiar as if I’ve always had it. ‘120’ is so close to me now like my telephone number (probably an extension one because it is too short!) or my door number or an ID number. One of [...]

 
award by merve oflaz

Students like to be awarded. Who doesn’t? Some of them really try hard for a little sticker, others are so relaxed about it. There are also some who does not care at all. I like awarding students and I think awarding them for their efforts in English makes me awarded, too. I usually prefer awards [...]

 
12833209613KIy19

Preparing exams, tests, worksheet and handouts take time and energy so you have to keep them well like a treasure. What I’ve been doing since I started teaching is keeping an archive. In the first two or three years of my career, archiving for me was putting everything in nice pinky files and putting them [...]

 
9190179-two-school-children-doing-homework-together-with-computer-isolated-on-white-background

Do you want your students to pay incredible attention to the projects you assign? Then you should try to make a webquest. A webquest is a kind of assignment (on the internet) asking the students to use the internet. It is as easy as blogging in here. ·         Make sure the topic is interesting for your [...]

 
My Students' projects about India

Through the Foreign Language Week activities students understand the importance of learning a second language and become aware of the other cultures. They also find an opportunity to express their own culture and compare it with others. They understand that they should respect other cultures, languages, accents or dialects, too.  Moreover, they are inspired with [...]

 
A corridor decorated for the Foreign Languages Week

Corridors decorated for the Foreign Languages Week Have you heard about ‘Foreign Language Week? In our school we celebrate it annually. During this week, we decorate the corridors and classrooms with many different projects of the students. Each grade has a different project and the students begin to prepare at least 3 or 4 weeks [...]

 
questions-sm

If you have 5 or more ‘YES’ answers: You are a teacher. If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 5: You are an extra – ordinarily creative (and maybe a little crazy like me) teacher. If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 6: You are a teacher of the new generation and you try to [...]

 
questions-sm

Note down your answers please! 1.       Are you often warned by other people because you speak loudly, especially when you receive a call in the middle of a restaurant or when you are telling about an event ambitiously? 2.       Do you usually find yourself thinking about what to do at work for tomorrow? 3.       Do [...]

 
flying-russian-girl

Have you seen the video of the flying girl? There are many comments about it on the internet and it is already on the news on TV. They say that it was probably filmed in Russia. Some say that it can be the exercise of a little acrobat using some special ropes, others state that [...]

 
parent-teacher

Use technology to share: As 21st century teachers, there is no need to waste paper, time and energy. You can use the website of your school to share information if possible. Or you can make group folders for your classrooms in an e-mail account of yours to inform the parents at the same time only [...]

 
parent-teacher

Friends? or Enemies? I think the answer can change according to the role you will choose. Will you be the one who is completing the pieces of the puzzle or vice versa? Let’s be logical! Who would want an enemy (especially at work)? Parents are like the backside of the medal. For me, the other [...]

 
A picture of me painted by a student

Some students and sometimes some classes are somehow difficult. You may not catch the sparkle at first or even later. You may find yourselves dealing with unkind behaviours and thoughtless words of the students in the middle of a present perfect exercise, then this may become the hardest time ever. The age of the students [...]

 
Stressed-teacher-460x276

5.       Professional development: Search for the seminars, workshops and conferences which will take place on holiday and try to attend them. 6.       Be with your family: Spend your time with your family. You have been so busy for the last couple of months. Why don’t you find some activities (such as cooking, doing puzzles or playing [...]

 
Stressed-teacher-460x276

I’m teaching English for 13 years and I feel lucky feeling the spirit still in me. The biggest reason may be the passion I found in my job but there are more behind. Like emptying the trash in my mind and pulling positive energy into myself. As teachers we suggest our students a long list of things [...]