Life Coaching, Observations, Reflections, Things that make you go hmmmmm

Category Archives: Coaching

I Love This Card!

I Love This Card!

I’ve played my “English Teacher” card a few times and I like it!

I too, officially, can be a grammar snob and a giant keeper of the word PITA, pain in the ass. I was that way prior to getting the English Teacher Designation and higher education made it official.

If I say it, I’m correct, you’re just not, so stop it! Great fun!

Shortly after I passed the assessment that gave me the, “I’m a teacher” designation a good friend who is not a native speaker of English showed me the assignment their child was given. I told my friend I really liked the kid’s thought process on one of the questions and I knew where the smartass on that answer originated.

Nice parenting indeed! That was an honest statement and not a facetious one. A little clowning with humour aint a bad thing at all. I enjoy it, in small doses.

What really got my attention was the error in one of the questions. The assignment is a “Cloze”, fill in the blanks.

Lene English Paper Response

That 4.2 was shown to a couple friends who went, “What, that isn’t right” but didn’t peg the error in the moment. English is a strange thing.

Question 4.2 was shown to the parent who did return me a correct response and I trust will for ever more realize their ESL is just fine.

Playing the “English Teacher” card on that little exchange was satisfying!

I have been asked to chime in from my exalted position on several occasions as well. One of them was just identifying the word being sought and the word needed, “Voracious” was already in my vocabulary before my anointment

What isn’t satisfying is when the card plays me. I’m not sure I care for this behaviour even though it’s my own damn fault for getting the edumucation. Not a typo.

I haven’t had the same “Sarcaustic” feel to some of my opinionated pieces. I and “Good Friend” were disappointed to find that my new word was already on “Urban Dictionary” when I unleashed it. Damn! GSTA I suppose. Great Smartasses Think Alike.

All said and done, this old cunning linguist is more so and loves it!

G.R. Hambley ©
January 22, 2018


It’s A New Year?!

It’s A New Year?!

I wake this morning and I am now in my 60th year on this little blue planet 3rd from the sun. Doesn’t feel much different than yesteryear but it is!

It’s so cold in this country the Calgary Zoo took the Penguins inside. Yet, I go out and forage coffee. Priorities my good reader, priorities. Writing can not be done without coffee. No it can’t, hush yourself!

Last year and in previous years, I would write in two things at the same time, narrative and poetry. This behaviour has continued in to this year I’m pleased to say.

Sneak peek of the poetry… it aint close to there yet!

Should’ve taken the umbrella because it looks like pain
I can see and it looks like you’re headed for hell
I see it’s not a place where you’re going to fare well
You can trust me because everyone knows I’m insane

It’s good to be me!

Here in Ontario, I’m expecting it to be frigid until June 7th. Gonna get real warm that day, and if you’re of the liberally minded RITE, I don’t see you liking it one damn bit.

I took a cab late last year and the driver was real sociable. For all you immigrants, just because I’m Canadian it doesn’t mean I like frickin’ winter! I like winter in the country where it’s pretty. I like winter in California where you go visit the snow! Been there, done that, short pants 70-degree weather.

Winter in the city is mostly ugly. The snow don’t stay as it was purely driven very long.

This narrative interlude is complete. Poetry is staring me in the face. Word!

G.R. Hambley 01/01/2018 ©

My New Year Eve, 2017

My New Year Eve, 2017

Today is the winter solstice and tomorrow the days start getting longer again. The world turns over and while some parts of this big old world have their winter sleep, other parts welcome the days of summer.

The winter solstice to me as a spiritual person, my greatest time of reflection while looking forward to what will come next year.

GRH Enjoy Shades 002

For me this day is also the day of giving thanks.

Out with the old and in with the new, it just aint that simple.

I’ve so much world open to me now that all the work I did to achieve something I wanted so badly is complete. When 2017 began, I had no idea that when the year ended I’d be an English Teacher and technically qualified to teach anywhere in the world. I may have had a few of my friends shaking their heads over my commitment to achieving the goal. Thankfully, I got good friends who understand what it means to be driven, in a good way.

Good Friend” and “Pen Pal” heard much more than others of the education path I was on. My rants were over things that would piss anyone off and had nothing to do with my abilities or lack there of. If you follow those links, you’ll get a look at the regard I have for those two individuals I call friend.

Another community friend who has become friend in our discussions and meandering around, we help each other out. He’s gifted me with some terrific photographs.

GRH Relevant 01

Ara Sagherian Photograph ©

He is both happy and not that I’ll be leaving. He wishes me nothing but the best. This is what you call honouring friendship on a direct emotional level. You speak the words. He took this shot

Driven and committed are not bad things though I do think those two people a couple of times would have been okay with driving me somewhere to be committed. I’m thinking it’s a shame, “The Hotel California” aint what it used to be. That is a tale I will someday write, maybe.

I’m thankful and appreciative of all my community friendlies too. The relationship is different. I talk about relationship in some of my narratives. My belief is that it is important to recognize those in your community. Most of the people do but there are a couple who just won’t. We aren’t talking about a relationship where you’re kissing someone in the ear. Being aware and personable is all we are talking about here.

I’ve a note this morning from an artist I’m fond of asking about being ready for the season and putting up the tree. The person notes going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. I know all about those feelings and have suspected this person, like me, has some level of S.A.D., “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. I had noticed the mindset before and offered up some help.

This other artist doesn’t know what today means to means to me. I don’t know if this other artist knows where and what the “Christmas Tree” actually represents.

Sammy Tree 01In this day and age, most people call it “Cultural Appropriation”. This tree thingy like any other thingy, I would hope you know the history and honour it. Simple stuff.

I’m pleased and thankful that more people from around the world visited me this year when I have published less new content than last year.

I’ve now opened my email this morning and I’m smiling big cuz someone special has gifted me a, “Happy New Year”. I love things like that. Another person special to me is thanking me for remembering their birthday. I’m blessed to know and have these people in my life. What goes around comes around folks so if ya want it ya gotta give it. I would suggest the adaptation of one of my favs, “Freely, Joyously, Willingly”.

I’m also doing grunt work as I write this at my year end. Backup, backup, backup. Losing the computer would be one thing but losing the content I’ve created would be a hell of a lot worse!

A stray thought gets triggered about days of birth as I meander along this morning. I share the same birth day as Jack Nicholson and I do tell people this should explain a lot. Those people ponder that statement, look at me and usually just nod. By that logic people born on the same day would have characteristics of others born on the same day. Not born in the same year and yes born on the same day. I have very good reason to think that.

All my life’s a circle, seasons spinning round again, the years keep rolling by. Then there is, “So off you go horizon bound”.

Chapin Shot 01Thanks again Harry and I still miss you and I’m still angry with you all these years later. I can’t believe how much time has passed in my own circle of life since you left us.

My time in this place is about done and for how long I will be away, I do not know. There is no timetable beyond thinking that at age 65 I’ll have to be in Canada and teaching will be in Toronto and/or online.

I went out and got me something that goes well with what I already love and has the potential to be sustaining for a long time. I do have that 150-year plan, as some of you who read me know.

I have a couple things to put in their place including the current melancholy and wistfulness.

Do not misconstrue dear friends, I am excited to greet the future and I shall adapt to my life’s changes.

My heroes have all been story tellers and I have more stories to discover in this big beautiful world. Stories and my love for the word, that’s why I’m going.

Another friend set off a trigger, Damn drummers are almost as bad as bears for getting in to shit. This is for you and thanks man but how about Toronto California?!

And that Drummer’s trigger set this off… “I said to my reflection lets get out of this place“.

To all of you the best of this season and all seasons.

I am out of here!

G.R. Hambley ©
December 21, 2017 – New Year Eve

What Happened to Harry Chapin

Chapin Photo Pinterest


My Exit Slip

My Exit Slip

The powers that be informed me when I asked them why I hadn’t received certain things after being shown as course complete. I was told I had to complete those “Specialty Electives” before receiving their official blessing and benefits.

Ring kissing was not involved, and the electives are done.

I had looked to change “Teaching English to Korean Speakers” but it was a no. So, in I went in and did that elective over 4 days. I had waited the previous 4 days without a response to a few questions and had to resend the email.

I made my choices and that is it. Fair enough, and it didn’t hurt to ask.

South Korea has the Winter Olympics in 2018 and my plan was to do the Korean elective after the Olympics were over.

When I elected to take my TEFL through University of Toronto and OISE, well that was part of the appeal, University of Toronto and OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education). I told the powers of higher education that when I ran in to some serious technical issues that those issues didn’t have to happen. I’m midway through the course and they rolled out a new and improved web site design. I went so far as to suggest they get the old site back online.

I hit glitches in both Specialty Electives, and both of those were presented in the old format.

If you look at my results on the “Teaching Test Preparation Courses”, final assessment you will see I passed by making 70% with zero attempts.

We’ll just call this an exemption on the final assessment for my demonstrated knowledge. No, I don’t like that “70” number and I’m reasonably certain I could get the “100” but I aint going backwards for the sake of that number!

I’m somewhat disappointed because Teaching those who are preparing for an ELPT (English Language Proficiency Test) or ESP (English for Special Purposes) is my preference for my Teaching English. I can do them all and as I just noted, teaching the ELP and ESP is what I like best.

Yes I am receiving some of what goes with a certain completion level. China among other places is looking very interesting,

As I’m writing this I received email notice on how to get my Certificate. Name as it appears on your Passport is recommended. I asked for my Certificate to show in the same way my name appears on my Passport.

I would have entertained using “Gary R. Hambley” as it appears on the business cards I had made up.

I haven’t had the entire benefit of course completion long but these folks are showing me some real good stuff! Yeah watch me tell you what I’m pursuing on the teaching abroad front.

There were technical issues that never should of happened and I addressed that with U of T.

Simple stuff, your new and improved aint working, get the old and functional back online!

You want to change the rules of the game, that’s fine too. But when you do that you create 2 paths and those already on the path stay there and those coming in new, they go on the new path.

There was flat out hypocrisy that I never addressed with the School and will address that here. I also hit a few things that flew directly against what I know to be true as a Life Coach.

This is applicable to all courses of study and not just “English as a Foreign Language”. You are taught about fair and valid assessments. You’re taught that you don’t spring surprises on the students in your assessments.

After the rollout of the new and infirm web platform that replaced the old and functional with poor typography platform assessment changed. The passing grade on Quizzes in the lesson sections went from 70% to 80% while the passing grade for the entire lesson assessment remained at 70%.

I don’t disagree with the number and in fact agree with the number the school set to pass the quiz. It was the hypocritical manner in that the change was made that perturbed me.

They changed the rules of the game after the game had started and that is one giant no no!

In the “Teaching Test Preparation Courses” elective “Exam Anxiety” was brought up. This is the statement that is made, “Help students to change or suppress negative thoughts or worries”.

No, no, no, not ever do you teach suppression!

If you have “Exam Anxiety” and I have it a bit more than the average person, you contact me and I’ll work with you to get you more comfortable and at ease. We Coaches and others call that endeavour, “Coping Skills”. Taking the exam is still gonna suck but you’ll be much better prepared to cope with those feelings and at no time will you ever hear me say, “Suck it up buttercup”.

Previous to that tidbit of information it was noted that if you’re finding yourself possibly over critical, put a Coach in the classroom with you to monitor your performance. I gave that piece of information when I hit it an audible, “no shit”. I had good reason when I hit what I hit to say what I did and more reasons later.

One of the things that Higher Education appears to need to learn is that their students are clients. I made that point clear on a couple of occasions because it was necessary to enlighten the bringers of Higher Education that while I am a student, I’m a client as well.

Education is different now. I’ve been computer literate for over 25 years. The changes in education brought on by the functionality of the computer in the last 25 years is wonderful. The delivery method of this education suits me to a tee. It didn’t take me long to tune out the audio and stick with the visuals of reading and then exploring the material outside the course work.

There were exceptions to me eschewing the audio and the “Teaching English to Korean Speakers”, I listened to everything! I will learn to make those sounds.

I learned a lot. I adapted myself. My thinking is different and the way I speak and express is a little less bombastic. I have my moments, as we all do.

Through this course of learning for me I created a teaching philosophy and figured out what my preference to teach is and why I have that preference.

So as the University taught, “Exit Slips” from your students regarding how they saw the lesson and even critiquing the teacher at term and year end are excellent sources of information.

Careful what you wish for because you just might get it and did you like, “My Exit Slip”.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the powers that be have placed the world at my fingertips and shown me how to go about garnering a teaching position.

G.R. Hambley ©
December 20, 2017

Writings from on the path.

Orbital Thoughts
Forever More, I Am A Teacher of English
It’s The Final Countdown
Oh My Head Again, or Watch Your English
Adapting Me
There Goes Perfection, For Now
Teaching Philosophy, Mine
English 101, 100
The Final Act

Orbital Thoughts

Orbital Thoughts

It’s all said and done and now I’m orbiting looking at jobs teaching English.

The course was terrific except for the technical glitches on the school’s side. On the I.T. side, the issues were addressed with the University and the ship moved on. Well the glitches affecting me are over with, I hope.

I opened up a “Speciality Elective” for a look see, “Teaching Test Preparation Courses”. Hit a glitch. Hit a critical thought judgement too. I’ve only looked at the first section, but I think this would have been a good way to start out any instruction of teaching English.

What’s next is a controlled search and searching out a couple contacts. With one of my contacts a short discussion has been had. The wheels are in motion to an introduction.

In the looking around I’ve discovered something we have that the rest of the world has too, weekends.

The point being is that there is a job to be done and there will be time for the culture and the sites. The immediate co-worker culture will be taken up immediately. Those co-workers are going to have information I’ll need if I want to be successful.

I put a few irons in the tutoring fire in my community as well. My community friendlies are a good bunch of people and I’ll miss them when I go. The plan is to come back, but who knows.

It is as important and maybe even more so, that you know where you don’t want to go.

If the cultural norms of a country disturb you to the point where you cannot respect them, don’t go there. Simple stuff. If you opt to go to a place where you think you really don’t belong and find yourself in difficulty because your Alligator Mouth overloaded your Hummingbird Ass, you own it, on your own.

For me, warm matters but it isn’t everything. I’m spiritual and learning of “Eastern Spirituality” up close and personal appeals to me. I’d like to see “Red Square” and “The Winter Palace” too. I love the architectural no matter where I find it.

I don’t think I’d mind Tibet, but in the moment, I just don’t have enough information and that’ll change. I would kind of like to see the place where I’m going to be working in my second next life.

They tell me culture shock is inevitable. They tell me how to cope with Culture Shock.

Decorum is universal and an important part of one’s make-up. I have that, and I practice it every day. They also made it clear what not to put up with. I don’t see me having a problem with standing up for myself and getting help should I need it.

What is my teaching preference? I want to teach the ELPT’s. I wanna teach the game. I got the game for the task.

This is “Language Arts”. Art is messy.

Don’t worry about it, you’ll clean up, read on.

I see teaching ELP’s in the same way I saw teaching the trade at the Trade School Level.

I’ve spoken of this before about the different dynamic for apprentices at College. We were there as part of our job. We left our jobs to go to school and then went back to our jobs where our marks were reported to our employer.

For lack of a better term, “The regular students”, the ones who had come from high school straight in to College preparing for a career. They don’t know anything but being students and their mindset was different.

The regulars were preparing for something at school and the apprentices were working at school.

People looking to take the proficiency tests for entrance to university in a foreign country, they’re in the game with a purpose. People looking to take an ESP, English for Specific purposes, they’re in the game too. They’re motivated to achieve with a goal in mind. Isn’t that the idea of a game, to score goals of some kind?

I’ll be comfortable as I can be teaching any level. Teaching the game is my preference.

I’m friends with a man of the Christian cloth. We have had some interesting conversations and we’ll have more. In the conversation we had last we talked about blended language.

I’ve spoken on blended language in my, “Carlin Influence” piece.

Both my friend and me, we have good vocabularies. We use them speaking to each other. We talked about how we both blend the academic and the interpersonal when we talk. We agreed, we wished there were more people who did the blending we do in interpersonal communication.

We both have a good sense of humour and we’re both pragmatic. Pretty much the only place where we differ is on what is the path to ascension. I respect his path and he respects mine.

He doesn’t even mind waiting when I have to take a phone call from on high.

It turns out I was mistaken about being done. Especially when they told me I was 100% complete!

I was functioning on the presumption that with there being 3 different course offerings to this TEFL course, the completion levels were graduated. I’m told that’s not the case and the Electives, which show up as different courses have to be completed before I’m seen as being complete and therefore worthy to receive the benefits that go with completion.

I now have a Quandary of my own that I’m waiting on answer to from the powers that be of Higher Education. Been almost 48 hours since I sent an email inquiring.

What the hell, it’s weekend, somewhere but apparently not in my orbit.

G.R. Hambley ©
December 09, 2017

Forever More, I am a Teacher of English.

Forever More, I am a Teacher of English.

At 9:31 am on Wednesday November 22, 2017 I clicked “Complete” on an exam. From that moment on and forever more, I am a Teacher of English.


I was a poet before I became a Coach and I remained a poet. In the journey to this point I had a moment where I knew, I’m a writer. The poet still burns brightly within me. Now I am “Officially” a Teacher and the heart of the poet continues to beat madly.

Poetry is my gift. I can just do it and do it well. Poetry is important in language. The educators stress the importance of bringing poetry to the classroom. I know the learners I get will leave with an understanding of the importance of poetry that other learners won’t get because they don’t have me.

I have a teaching philosophy and you can read it.

The Word. I love “The Word”.

I hope to infect others with love of “The Word”.

Gary Hambley, Teacher of English.

It’s The Final Countdown

It’s The Final Countdown

Here I am staring at the final assessment. There is a bit more to go but this is the gold ticket to the Wonka Factory. Wilder or Depp, take your pick.

A long time ago in a lifetime far away, I had it all figured out. Ultimately, I wanted to teach. A split second on a highway and life going on, the plan changed. The wanting to teach was dormant for a time but it never went away.

I’m already a Teacher. Those who have talked to me already know it. Very soon, the world is going to know I’m a teacher.

I’ve done a lot of work in the last 3 months. There have been a couple serious impediments that required serious attention. That attention was given by both sides. I’ll write more when it’s all said and done with the elective courses.

I’ve even designed a new card for myself. The card has my phone number and email on it so I’m not posting it.

The exam has a 2 hour time limit. I’m tempted to pop it right now and get it done. And I remind myself that is not the way to take on a final.

Me and “The University of Toronto Faculty of Education”. Well aren’t we the pair. Who saw that happening?

No man is an island. This is for you “Good Friend”. Me and Mr. Donne are smilin’ atcha.

‘No man is an iland,
intire of it selfe;
every man is a peece of the Continent,
a part of the maine;
if a clod bee washed away by the Sea,
Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were,
as well as if a Mannor of thy friends
or of thine owne were;
any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee

How many of y’all knew that bell is attached to that island?

Other friends have contributed their verse to this journey of mine and I thank them.

Part of my telling of this journey is in the hope of being inspirational. More so for the older than the younger.

I’m 60 on my next birthday and parts of the world can be seen with English.

My last statement was not an, “If I can do it you can do it” statement because I don’t do that shit.

Life doesn’t end until it ends. If you are happy armchair quarterbacking, then you keep on quarterbacking from your armchair.

One of the conclusions I came to is this and it has correlation with Life Coaching, you need life on you. You shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom to teach until you’re 45. In this province it is 16 to drive and 19 is the legal drinking age. No reason you can’t set an age restriction for teaching.

I have studying to do and I am living proof you can teach an old dog new tricks, if that old dog is willing to learn.

G.R. Hambley ©
November 18, 2017

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Damn Elves!
Here on the 2nd day of November in the year of our lord 2017, the frickin’ coffee elves are playing Ho Ho tunes. We are not amused! Had this happened yesterday on all saint’s day, I might of risked a couple of my 6 wings and beatified a couple elves.

I told one of the elves, with this music, in 7 – 10 days there are going to be dead elves. The Elf thought I was kidding when I asked if there were any spare holes lying around.

Canada and this is how it is supposed to work, We have the Grey Cup game and parade the last weekend of November and the next weekend is Santa Claus parades all over the Great White North.

I was referring to the corporate elf and not the good service elves who take such good care of us for the spare holes.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
I haven’t said much about the TEFL course I’m taking of late. It’s moving along with a few glitches. I was in the course doing work when an unannounced site overhaul was implemented. Yes I let them know of my displeasure.

The powers that be there hit my, “You pissed me off” switch. I’ll tie this in to the “just because I don’t do this anymore it doesn’t mean I got stupid” category. In January of 2000 I interviewed to be the web director for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. When I walked in to the man’s office he had the piece I did on his desk. He’d checked me out. He told me, “Artistically and creatively you’re the best”.

Anyone care to question as to whether or not I know my shit?

The typography is much better. The previous was soft pastels on a white page. In the course they talk about meeting the needs of the learners. I wonder if the PC people seeing to those needs ever considered when the site was being built, a little thing that afflicts some people called “colour blindness”.

I see extremely well. Might explain why among other things, I’m a damn good photographer and observational writer. So, if the design is bothering me…

Lemme ask y’all a question I already know the answer to because I know how to run a web site. Should your clients be notified prior to a major alteration to the site and when that change is going to take place?

It also brings me to you never know what someone has when you encounter them. This bunch hit the “PC enough to frost you flakes” mentality. They thought I should be more understanding because they did tell you in the site as it was taking place.

I showed them I know how to take electronic notes and the course is repetitive on making sure your students have that skill.

Here’s another question for y’all, do you think I’d have even been on the site if I’d known changes were going to take place? And who does a major change in the middle of the day?

Mostly it’s good. Don’t get me wrong, mostly it is good and I’m enjoying the learning path immensely.

Blade Runner 2049
I went and saw the film yesterday. My film maker buddy and I talked about the film a little bit and we both commented on the 2-hour 44-minute running time.

When the film ended I went, “What, over already?”. I liked the film and didn’t notice the running time at all. There was a scene setting that made me think Chernobyl. Somewhat fitting when I checked email and discovered fallout. I’m a big boy, I can handle it.

Learning Path
I’ve been looking at all kinds of teacher’s helpers and apps as part of my own diligence. Found some really neat stuff in my web travails.

I have been to teacher dedicated sites and joined a couple.

Some great resources that are free or of low cost.

GRH Path IMG_20171031_114347

“Good Friend” just checked in with a response to something I said. My “Restraint” is being admired. And oddly a song comes on the FM that “Good Friend” made it clear there would not even be the risk of an ear worm taken. Also, oddly or not, and that means you “Good Friend”, that response of yours had to do with school

The response was just a tad more vociferous than what I related.

TEFL Handbook by the “TEFL Handbook Team”. Strange I do indeed find it that they spell “Tire” with a “Y”. No not at the end. I’ve browsed through this thing and with what they say is coming you got a powerful tool at low cost.

This one is fun, “Preposition” by The Brazillions. It’s multipurpose too.

The “Hangman” game aint bad either.

Listening skills are big on this path. I don’t just listen with my ears. I listen with my eyes as well and have done such for a very long time.

Canadian Politics
I haven’t been following to closely the last few weeks. Everybody in the damn country knows the level of incompetency at the Federal Level and take comfort in the fact there are less than 2 years remaining for Trudeau 2.Doh.

Here in Ontario the blustering of the Wicked Witch Wynne goes on. You’d think a witch of this magnitude would understand a few plums can’t do the job you need the flying monkeys for! Less than a year until the electorate dumps the water over her pointless head.

I needed a small rant today. Sometimes you have to rant and it’s more than okay. Blow the shit out and shower it away.

Back to the studying right after I check and see if a light has gone on.

© Gary Hambley – all rights reserved
Certified Professional Coach
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (pending, but not for long)

Adapting Me

Adapting Me

I’ve had to make adaptation to myself and what I know to be correct. I’ve had to remind myself more than once that this is also, “Language Arts”.

Another TEFL module complete with a return on assessment of 100%. This adventure’s name is “Adapting Subject Specific Material”. To achieve this, I had to give them what they wanted even though I disagree with their logic. “If it walks like a duck, if it smells like a duck, if it talks like a duck, it’s a duck”. There is of course the remote possibility I’m incorrect. I’m never wrong.

I said to a friend that I must rewire parts of my brain and when I explained my statement he agreed. A week or so after that encounter I changed my mind on having to rewire my mind. Analogy, “The junction boxes are already there in place and I have to build additional pathways that tie in to the existing circuitry”. I did tell my friend about the change of mind and why.

Thinking more simply is difficult. One of those new pathways I must build will allow me to think more simply and tie in with my critical thinking.

In the course of the course, I find myself having to go sideways and read more than is provided, so out I go researching the topic. I’ve read theory and practice and I find myself making judgements and decisions on those theories and practices. This is known as critical thinking. Were I not making decisions and judgements it would be abstract thought and not critical thinking.

In my journeying I stumbled in to the square root of all evil, “Common Core”. Lemme tell you, the square root of two isn’t the only thing irrational! Oddly or not, the PPP* was from Stanford University, “The Common Core For English Language Learners”. See slide 30, I had an elfin bovine with the conceptual ahead of the procedural in math! I said “ELFIN”, read it again.

The theories and concepts of Common Core in Language Arts from what I’ve seen and it isn’t a lot, is good. Art has far more room for the conceptual than Math and Science do. That art has far more room for conceptual approach than Math or Science do is a surprise to anyone how?

On another lateral move I wound up with “The Ontario Curriculum Grades 9 and 10 English”. This would have been a handy thing to have from the outset. In my opinion this document should have been provided as reference material for the glossary alone. Yes I told the educators about it, nicely.

From the Ontario document, “Teachers develop appropriate instructional strategies to help students achieve the curriculum expectations”. I’m finding the word “Expectations” in this Ministry document quite a bit. When I read, it certainly seems the philosophy is “No Child Left Behind” from the Common Core/Common Good theory.

The problem with “Expectations” is just that, they are “Expectations” and not “Demands”! Faulty and misleading language because these expectations they talk about should be, yes should be, DEMANDS. This “Demand” states what you must achieve to move on to the next level.

I’m just not seeing a problem with letting kids and these are kids in school, that we “Expect” the “Demands” to be met and if those demands are not met, there will be consequence. Maybe it’s just me again, but I believe learning the difference between “Expectation” and “Demand” is a pretty important life lesson.

I haven’t gone over the MoE Curriculum with a fine-tooth comb by any stretch of the imagination. I saw the grading scheme and it had 4 categories and they are, 50 to 59%, 60 to 69%, 70 to 79% and 80 to 100%. I didn’t see a designation for 0 to 49% so I’m guessing this is the, “Minimally Exceptional” George Carlin, who is an influence on me, was talking about in his take on language.

If you’re finding this writing clinical and analytical with a touch of snide that would be because it is. I have a structure that works for me and I like it because it is ordered. Even my “Snide” has order and purpose and is 100% ambiguity free.

Here’s a rather bold conclusion I’ve come to for you to chew on, you shouldn’t even be allowed to Teach until you’re 45. We need to revise the expression,” Those that can, do, and those that can’t, teach”. Change it in to this, “Those who can do, teach, those who can’t do are kept the hell out of the classroom”.

Me and “Good Friend” had some chatter going and at the time of writing I haven’t heard back from “Good Friend” on how it was received when I noted what appeared to be a “Comma Splice”. I’m hoping “Good Friend” sees how I’m changing and adapting and knowing “Good Friend”, yes and not so much.

I’ve moved in to the next module of this TEFL Course and I have encountered and satisfied the demands of, “Establishing Behaviour Norms”. Something makes me think most people wouldn’t want me doing that. C’est la vie**.

G.R. Hambley ©
October 14, 2017


*PPP – Power Point Presentation
** c’est la vie. french expression that is rather famous in english and other languages. it means “it is the life.” can also be trasnlated into english as: – “that’s life”


HG Wells

There goes perfection, for now

There goes perfection, for now

I finished the 3rd module of the TEFL course I’m taking. This module was large in quantity; 15 parts when you count the written submission that must be done prior to taking the 15th part, the whole module assessment.

My number on this assessment was 85%. I still passed the test with 15 points to spare. A passing grade is 70%.


This section entailed the “Fundamentals of English Grammar”. There are a few items I’m just not recognizing in accordance with the technically perfect that is required. Things like what is a fragment, and what is a mistake to name a couple.

Why the problem? Why because I do things in writing that fly against the rules but make sense when you read what I’ve written is why.

I cross lines and blur edges in my “Communicative Expressionism*”. I don’t apologize for my behaviour either. I am not writing you a technical document or trade agreement and am telling you a story.

Within the context of the course and proper English, the keepers of the course are correct. It is incumbent on me to make sure I have this technical aspect wired in to my brain so I recognize the objects far more readily and correctly.

I had opportunity prior to submission to go back and change answers. I gave that option serious thought. I didn’t do it because I was concerned I could make it worse. “Guesstimate” is not in my action plans at the best of times and when it comes to test taking, not at all.

That module exam had to be done before you could even look at the next module.

I had to set that small section aside for the moment and move the ship on. Should I so choose, I can revisit and redo that test. I can go back and make the perfect number but I don’t think that’ll happen.

Revisiting and posting that number isn’t going to change the fact that there was an issue that required remediation. I’ll know it aint a real perfect number. I know it’ll look pretty on the façade if I revisit. If all someone is looking at is my façade in assessing my qualifications to teach, I probably don’t wanna be there.

I like that you’re asked for your philosophies. The administrators want to see what the tools and strategies are that you first person personal are bringing to the teaching. Simply, you’re being asked to identify your/the resources and how you’re going to use those resources.

In a previous submission I gave my teaching philosophy in my piece, “Teaching Philosophy, Mine”.

This one asked for philosophy on teaching grammar to others and myself. Verbatim what I said.

Grammar Philosophy

I’m a believer in the “Completion Backwards Principle”. The principle isn’t just a “Tubes” album and it works. I’ve been using this technique for years and the continued success is why I know it works. Before being able to define the term, I was exposed to the “Completion Backwards” usage by my high school trade teacher.

One of the things I am is a Life Coach, a CPC (Certified Professional Coach). An imperative in the process is defining the whole. Figure out what the whole looks like and then you can go about creating it from the blank sheets of metal or paper. I’m also a tradesman, a Tinsmith. I take the “Smithy” moniker seriously and wear it with pride.

My philosophy says that the Teacher is entrusted with building the learners relationship with the word. The principles and theories of “building” are universal and applicable to learning language. You provide the materials or building blocks and set the learners up with tasks so they can achieve small accomplishments.

It’s ridiculous to expect anyone to create “a whole” from the collection of grammar parts without knowing what the whole is and how it is expected to function.

Give the learners a couple or three paragraphs from a book or newspaper and let them engineer the paragraphs backwards. For the purpose of the lesson, the selected text is deemed absolutely correct. Deeming the text absolutely correct allows you to introduce different types of narratives.

Let the learners build mistakes in to the provided content and then let the class tear the altered passages down. In later exercises, you can define the types of grammatical errors you want to see written in to replace the existing correct word or sequence of words.

I’m going to have my students plugging their stories in their native language in to a translation engine and let the learners go English Grammar all over the return!

There will come a time that I let the learners take my narratives apart. I’ll let the learners critique the Context, style and flow. I’ll have the students apply formal rules where I intentionally went with communicative expressionism or slang. I expect that exercise to provide some very interesting reading that we can all have fun with! If an understanding and appreciation of a little self deprecation.

These are three of my pieces that will get used for lesson purposes in my classroom.
Tools, Weapons and Toys
Ranked Ballot System
PC Language

Music is going to have an important part in my class. I’m going to use all those terrific tools that others made possible for today’s teacher to use. While “School House Rock” isn’t a television staple, there is no reason it can’t be a classroom staple. Music triggers memory and that is a fact the teacher should not only know but put to good use!

Part of my own grammar learning philosophy is to not have structural knowledge interfere with my writing style. I’m not writing academic papers and am telling stories.

I don’t know if you can call wanting to be knowledgeable and possess the latest greatest information on your chosen path qualifies as philosophy. Paying attention to what is taking place in the field of English Language Study. I’ll be doing that.

Of course, I’ll continue to write as well.

G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 27, 2017