7/14/2013

About Me

My name is Fabiana Laura Casella. I am a passionate EFL-ESL teacher, blessed mother of two angels God sent us and very interested in art, music, literature, history, education, psychology and being a connected educator.
I am a certified Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in my home country, Argentina. In 1989,  I got my Bachelor’s Degree in TEFL/TESL which enables me to teach from Pre-Elementary to Secondary School students.
By the time I became a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, I had already been working at primary School level, teaching private lessons and businessmen very early in the morning, during lunch time or in the evening. It did work for some time, but I really enjoyed teaching pre-teens and teenagers much more. Anyway, my evening adult groups as well as my very early in the morning groups were fantastic learners. So I made my choice and taught Secondary School classes for a very long time, which is what I still do.
Moreover, since 1988, I have been teaching Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Advanced EFL to children, adolescents and adults in private international educational institutions preparing them to sit Cambridge Assessment Examinations.  Later, I began to work as a private tutor of Spanish As A Foreign Language to Business travelers and exchange students f2f and online, during their stay in Argentina.

In 2001, my family and I moved to the USA because I was hired by VIF (Visiting International Faculty Program) to teach in public schools. After three years we had to come back to Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, I was re-selected and we traveled back to America in August 2005 for another three years. In June 2008, we definitely settled down in Buenos Aires. (More about this in another post: "My Life as A Foreign Teacher in the USA").

Besides, while I was back in my home country (between 2004-05), I kept on teaching English to Spanish, Brazilian and Asian students, Spanish to American Business travelers on site and online as a private tutor. Also, I have experience working as an Assistant Trainer in TEFL courses, by observing classes and giving feedback to American trainee teachers.
Currently, I am working on my Professional Development Curriculum and Personal Learning Network participating very actively on online educational debates, discussions, Facebook for Educational purposes and groups (currently 30 Goal Challenge for Educators), attending free webinars by Cambridge, Oxford, and Pearson Education all concerning ICT, Education, Language Teaching, Classroom Management, Digital Literacies, Storytelling, using Twitter for Education updates (Graham Stanley´s concepts finally convinced me) and Pinterest, thanks to a great virtual colleague friend Sylvia Guinan (an Irishwoman living in Greece): to post articles I am really interested in. Lately, I have become a volunteer advisor for Cambridge English Teacher (CET) where I have completed an online course on Classroom Management and working on some other online course: "Grammar Awareness for Teachers". Also, I have received my OneStopEnglish Fan Badge by MacMillan (by regular mail=very rare in Argentina where many things get "lost". Besides, I have completed a couple of online Professional Development courses in British Council Connecting Classrooms website. Thanks to Gonzalo Ronzetti (Argentina) and after several talks with my lifetime friend, Mónica Menéndez who recommended me to study with him, I started blogging a couple of days ago, when I finished an online course on Blogs. Last but not least, I am studying a Specialization in Education and ICT offered by the Ministry of Education in Argentina
Even though my participation in Social Media started about a year ago, I have made many online friends with the most interesting, professional and kindest educators, authors and experts such as: Maria Bossa, Rita Zeinstejer ("TIC en el Aula" together with the great Jennifer VerschoorBarbara Hoskins Sakamoto, Dr Nellie Deutsch, Jason Levine, Nicky Hockly, Gavin Dudeney or others I have always admired, like the writers of the books I studied from to become a teacher: Jeremy Harmer, Noam Chomsky and Stephen Krashen. The list is not finished yet, so I am going to mention some others in my upcoming blog post: "My Online Friendship with Educators around the world".
Preparing students to sit Cambridge International Examinations is a very interesting task, but it limits you to just presenting, explaining and testing if your classes last from 40 to 80 minutes like mine. So, this year to spice up my classes, I decided to step out of my "comfort zone" and started “flipping” and/or "blending" my lessons using Edmodo.
I am just a rookie in this field, I feel I still have a long way to go: in 2012 I took an online course with Jennifer Verschoor (Argentina) about technology in the English classroom which really helped me understand how to use some tools: my baby steps (Shelly Terrell´s piece of advice) are slow but anything I achieve, no matter how little it is, fills me with true pride and joy!. My desire to stay connected grows more and more every day. The more I read and experience, the more I want to learn. However, this passion to be a permanent learner is not so easy to hold because being a full time mom, educator and learner takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention hours of sleep.

Twitter: @FLCasella
Skype: fabianna.casella