Three takeaways from my almost viral post in the CLIL Club

January 30, 2023


Last week I made a hard decision concerning sharing my CLIL ideas. And it had quite an effect. Something I did not expect, but did teach me a few valuable lessons.

Estimated time to read this article: 5 minutes

You might know I run a free Facebook group called the “CLIL Club”. Or, to be fair, I used to run this Facebook group.

Last week I shared I was going to close down this group. The main reason: it was tough to get people to respond to posts (apart from wanting to spend time on the weekly tips and podcast)

Guess what happened to this post…?

It became the most ‘popular’ post ever in the CLIL Club. I repeat: Ever.

As you can imagine: I ‘have an opinion about that’. Especially on the algorithm of Facebook. 

But that's not the point.

There are some things I learned from this experience:

You can mean a lot to people without realising it.

Below the post, lots of people commented sharing their experiences with the group.

A couple even mentioned the CLIL Club had helped them get their diplomas.

I did not expect that.

Others mentioned that they really learned a lot from everything that was posted.

Something that I never really knew, because I only saw ‘likes’ and ‘comments’.

Obviously, I really appreciate the fact I have been of help through the FB group.

The same is the case in your role as a teacher.

You can have a huge impact on students, without ever realising it.

Years ago I talked with a student at her graduation and she recalled my playing the ‘four chord song’ once during class when she was in second grade.

She still remembered that and really appreciated this, because it had inspired her to explore more music-related hobbies.

The small talk. The “are you okay? You seem a little off”. The relationship you build with students.

They matter. 

Even if you don’t realise it.

Changing things, or making hard choices, is not a bad thing

Do you remember the last time you put off a difficult decision just a little bit too long? 

I think everyone can.

And most people feel relieved when the decision is made.

Sure, you should really think things through. I am not saying you should change direction every three seconds.

But these things are needed every now and then.

It could be about a decision whether or not the school you are working at is a right fit.

Or a choice you have to make when it comes to professional development.

Or maybe even deciding on who you have to fire.

These decisions are hard. But needed. And you will feel better once you have taken care of things.

I know I did. Although I did not have to fire anyone ;).

Developing your ‘mission’ might mean going in a different direction

Every school has a ‘mission and vision’. Or at least some kind of policy which states what is important to the school.

But this is not set in stone. 

Twenty years ago, there was no policy on devices in a classroom.

Ten years ago, there was no policy for a worldwide pandemic.

Time change. And so do mission statements.

And that is okay.

When I founded the CLIL Club, I imagined it to become a thriving, interactive and crowded online place where people would inspire each other.

This did not work out the way I wanted, but more importantly, I did not feel like I was the right person for that job anymore.

I was no longer aligned with the original idea of the group.

In other words: I choose to go in a different direction.

A direction which was more aligned with my current beliefs and priorities.

What about your bilingual team?

Do you have a CLIL policy or a bilingual policy? And is that on top of your mind?

So, next time you sit down to organise an activity or have to make a decision for your team, have a look at your mission statement or policy.

And check if the things you want to do are still aligned with that.

Maybe this will help you make decisions that are better suited for the mission and vision of your school.

Or perhaps you are not even sure what the policy related to bilingual education at your school says.

Then it might just be time to have a look at that, together with your team.

If you need help with that, let me know and I’d be happy to help you out with getting everyone in your team onboard to develop a mini-policy in a couple of hours.

With the purpose of getting everyone’s noses in the same direction. 

You can have a look at the specific workshop I host on this topic or reach out through my contact page.

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