Doors and Wishes

Do you reflect on the passing year at the end of December? Every time I try to look back at my year through a professional lens, I keep ‘zooming out’ into a bigger picture. This post is not 100% ELT-related. Or may be it is.

Earlier this month I attended a British Council webinar on Teacher Well-Being facilitated by Judith Hanks and Sian Etherington (its full title was ‘Sticky Objects and Positive Emotions: researching teacher well-being and resilience’, and the recording can be accessed here)

Beiteddine Palace door. Lebanon. Picture taken in 2015.

One metaphor caught my eye (and ear!), and it was about an ordinary door the teacher in the story never knew about, and her colleague showed it to her, which made her life easier. There was a picture of the door on the slide.

The idea of an unseen door made me think. How many doors go unnoticed in my life (metaphorically, and literally)? How many beautiful doors have I already passed without noticing? How many doors did not look super attractive (to me) at first, but were leading to great things? (and… the other way round)?

In Lviv, Ukraine.

In Lviv, Ukraine.

Questions to Self 

  • Do I even know what a ‘door’ actually means? The Wikipedia helpfully prompts that it is a movable barrier that allows ingress into and egress from an enclosure (in simple words, a building, room, or vehicle). The created opening in the wall is a doorway or portal. 
  • Do I enter the beautiful doors I see? Not always, no. I may be curious what’s there, and I sometimes let myself imagine what kind of life people there are leading.
  • Do I regret not entering (or even knocking)? 
  • Do I (sometimes) knock on the doors?
  • Which doors do I (never) take pictures of? And why?

Mustang, Horse-Riding Club in Dnipro, Ukraine. This picture is meaningful to myself and my sister (the artist).


Fairy-tale gates made by Uzhgorod blacksmiths. Ukraine.

Questions to Readers

  • Which doors do you notice?
  • Which doors were open for you?
  • Which ones did you open for someone else?
  • How do you choose which one to open?
  • How comfortable do you feel opening a new door?
  • How many times would you knock on a door to open?

Tustan, Ukraine (a Medieval cliff-side fortress). Taken in 2018.


The Golden Gate of Kyiv, main gate in 11 cent Kyivan Rus’ capital.

December ends, which brings a new year. Let’s hope that it will keep the doors open to you (if you choose to enter), and that you will keep the (metaphorical? virtual?) doors open for friends, family, and loved ones.

P.S. Below are some more doors I passed while traveling. I never realized that I had seen all those doors, and that I actually took the pictures. Writing this post was an interesting reflection exercise. 

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