Taglining

by Zhenya

This post is one of those short entries that don’t have a specific title (or even category) and just pop up in my head for no obvious reason. Still, I think I sometimes need to share them with you, my readers, because while I am putting ideas into words, I can ‘see’ them more clearly.

I started this blog in December 2013, and my first tagline stated ‘aiming to go beyond stating the obvious in ELT‘. I thought that it was important to have a tagline, and I saw that other bloggers have one. Also, I thought it is necessary to give an idea as to what this blog is about (that’s why there was ‘ELT’). Honestly, I don’t think I gave it more attention or thought at that time.

I started to think more about taglines after writing for some time and having my first readers and commenters. I looked at my first one critically and did not like it. My second tagline said: ‘Thinking aloud about ELT and reflective practices‘ and was up until recently. As you see, I kept the ‘ELT’ in and sounded less ambitious about the content. I also liked that the ‘thinking’ part found its place there.

In October 2014 I read Mike Griffin’s Interview with Anne Hendler, and it changed my understanding of taglines. To be specific, I am talking about the bio Anne wrote for a conference, which said ‘Anne is just a teacher’. Wow, so simple, but so powerful. [Note: you can read why she chose this wording, please read the interview — and I highly recommend following both Mike’s and Anne’s blogs, by the way!]

I looked up the meaning of the word ‘tagline’ briefly and found out that it can be a catchphrase or slogan (especially in advertising); and/or a memorable phrase or sentence that is closely associated with a particular person, product, movie, etc. (especially in branding or marketing)

As you might have guessed, I am still in search of a ‘perfect’ tagline. This is my list of ideas, constantly growing:

ideas ‘in-between’

caught in-between projects and courses

staying ELT-ly/ TESOL-ly curious

in transition

meta-level ELT reflections

simply thinking space

space to reflect and share

my ELT/ TESOL stories

mystery? mastery? my story!

Zhenya’s reflective space

The newest line, currently up, reads: ‘Zhenya Polosatova’s reflective lounge: learning, teaching, teacher training‘. Yes, added my name (and feeling good about it!) Also, put the word ‘lounge’ to remind myself that this is a blog to calmly reflect and share, learn from the writing process and from the comments in reply. Learn to focus on reading and writing, and to read between the lines.

Photo2252

A couple of random thoughts:

  1. taglines to me are very close to (but not the same as) Mission Statements in a sense that no matter how much you do or how many new businesses you create (or jobs you take, blogs you start, etc.) you do it to reach your own life mission.

  2. the words in a tagline need to be mine — and I don’t have any specific explanation why I feel this way.

  3. if I did want to ‘steal’ someone’s idea for a tagline, it would most likely be from Sirja’s blog I enjoy reading  – ‘How teaching becomes learning‘, or Liz Ryan (contributor to Forbes) : ‘I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life‘.

Do you enjoy ‘taglining’? How did you come up with your tagline? How many revisions have you had? What made you want to change the line?

Thank you for reading!