Eleven: Blog Challenge

This is a blog post that has been sitting in my drafts for several months. As I am trying to return to semi-regular writing on this blog, I decided to finish and publish this one today. This is a post of questions and answers, and some are not related to anything professional (but might help you see me as a ‘real human being’, so to say). Ok, let’s begin…

Here’s the challenge:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger. Link to the post on her blog.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers 
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.

11 random facts (some explanations will appear in the answers later!)

  1. hand-writing 
  2. running
  3. reading
  4. walking (walking, walking!)
  5. brainstorming
  6. planning
  7. Dnipro 
  8. traveling
  9. coffee
  10. cartoons
  11. The House of Cards
Coffee and conversation. Taken by my dear friend.

Coffee and conversation. Taken by my dear friend.

Questions from Clare

How are you feeling today? – Calm and relaxed. A good Saturday feeling 🙂

What book is closest to you as you write this? And would you recommend it to others? Why (not)? Language Teaching Insights from Other Fields. I am reading it and get inspired to notice more and to try out new ideas. Recommend for those reasons.

What’s your top tip for de-stressing after a hard day at work? – 2, 4 and 9 from the list above. Sometimes skipping coffee and doing more running and/or walking.

Have you ever learnt any foreign languages? How has this helped you be a better language teacher? – Well, English is my L2, competing for this status with Ukrainian (Russian is my mother tongue). Emergent Italian, and single words in Korean and Arabic. Being a NNEST helps a lot in teaching and training. I think mostly as a confidence builder and being able to identify with challenges.

Describe your teaching style by comparison to an animal, and explain the similarities! – It would be a bird: a flight of your own, with support and guidance. But you fly by yourself.

Describe the view out of the closest window. – A rainy October day. Maple trees are still green. Linden (lime) trees are getting yellow slowly.

Which are the most recently used smiley/emojis on your mobile phone/whatsapp or instant messenger programme? – Smiles 🙂 I guess they are the only ones I use actually!

What would you like to say to me, now that I’ve nominated you for this challenge?! – Thank you for the nomination — and sorry to be responding so late. Hope later is still better than never 😉

Questions from Sandy

What’s the last piece of music you listened to? – I am listening to Lounge FM radio http://www.loungefm.com.ua/ as I typing the answers. Very good for Saturdays!

What was the last film or TV show you watched? Would you recommend it? – CSI: New York (TV series) If you like NYC like me, and would like to switch off work for some time, might work for you.

Do you ever listen to podcasts? Any favourites? – Yes, sometimes. David Allen’s Getting Things Done are the ones I can think of now.

Have you ever made a mistake or been in a bad situation which felt huge at the time, but now you’re really glad it happened? – I have (and I think more than once!) One of them was becoming a director of studies at a school where I had been teaching for 5 years or so. I learned a lot in the end, so no regrets at this point!


Questions from Svetlana

What sound do you love? – Coffee machine working (combined with the aroma of fresh coffee of course!) 



If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? – Horse riding. Driving. Design. Yoga. [Note to self: start with driving]

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? – Carl Rogers. His philosophy and books had a great impact on my professional and personal beliefs.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? – I don’t know. Have been thinking and decided to stick to the present moment of mine 🙂

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint? – The skies and clouds seen from the airplane. Could watch this endlessly



Question from Sandy and Claire

Where are you based, and would you recommend working there to others? – Dnipro, south-east of Ukraine. Former Dnipropetrovsk. My native city, so I am biased. Working here might be fun for some time. Not a touristy place. I can be a tour guide, if you decide to come 🙂

dnipro in summer

Through the guest’s eyes. Taken by my dear friend.

Questions from Sandy and Svetlana:

What tip would you offer to a new blogger? – Keep writing. Choose to write what you like, even if no-one is reading, over writing what everyone is reading but you do not like. These are not my words, but I agree.

Do you have a favourite recipe you want to share? – I am not a great cook, but I love salads/vegetables, and am always in search of new combinations and ideas. One of my recent discoveries: feta cheese, cucumbers and mint make unforgettable flavor (thank you Lebanon for the inspiration!)

What’s your favourite thing you’ve written (ELT or otherwise)? – Something I enjoy writing is my 50 words idea on this blog. Don’t know about ‘favorite’ – very hard to say so about my own writing 🙂

What question do you wish I’d asked you, and what’s the answer? – Question: what is/has been the word of this year to you? Answer: Connecting

Question from Claire, Sandy and Svetlana

What’s the last/ most recent photo you took? 



What’s your memory of the best lesson you’ve taught? – Where students/participants said ‘really, is this the time to finish?’ Refers to a training/coaching session, too 🙂

My 11 questions to colleagues (more about managing/leading teams, and self, not teaching)

  1. Have you ever tried to lead a team of people? If yes, what are your impressions and learning? If no, would you like to (one day)?
  2. When do you think someone is ready to be a leader of a team?
  3. How do you help yourself to focus on a task at hand?
  4. How do you relax/switch your attention from work?
  5. What’s your favorite book (please share the first title and author you can think of)
  6. What helps you wake up in the morning?
  7. What’s your best tip on working with people?
  8. What was the funniest/happiest moment for you this week?
  9. What kind of record do you like keeping (if any)?
  10. What music do you like?
  11. What question do you like asking to people you first meet?


My 11 bloggers to challenge:

  1. Josh
  2. The Secret DoS 
  3. Mike 
  4. Josette 
  5. Wilma 
  6. Hana 
  7. Vedrana
  8. Marc 
  9. Adi 
  10. Anna 
  11. anyone who liked the questions and feels like writing!


Thank you for reading! 🙂

About Zhenya

ELT: teacher educator, trainer coach, reflective practice addict https://wednesdayseminars.wordpress.com/.
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6 Responses to Eleven: Blog Challenge

    • Zhenya says:

      Yes, I remember this one – a great post! If you ever decide to answer my questions, would be cool (no need to be in the format of this challenge though) Hope you are having a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: On leadership and teamwork | Sandy Millin

  2. ven_vve says:

    I agree with Marc – I enjoyed reading your answers! The questions are really interesting too – I think I could go on all day about 1 and 2. 🙂 Thanks for tagging me. My first post ever was this challenge, but I would definitely like to answer your questions (and Marc’s too, from before the summer). I hope I’ll get around to it soon – I want to!


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