In times of extreme change and uncertainty, moving towards Christmas at rapid speed is somewhat a blessing. Regardless of whatever traditions, expectations and possibly even some disappoinments we may have, in the Northern hemisphere it`s also about slowing down into cosiness, reading, contemplation and going within.

Time now to look back at 2021, retrieving and counting the overseen blessings often hidden in the plethora of distractions and information overload. One really needs a good inner compass to stay on track, no matter the stormy weather outside.

When reviewing this year`s Elta-Rhine initiatives and achievements, there is a well-deserved need to bring on the champagne. Khanh-Duc and Laura have done a fantastic job at organizing and offering super monthly online events to our members to further everyone’s professional development. Moreover, in November we finally launched our new Elta-Rhine website. We think it looks great, and hope it will facilitate valuable content communication We`ll be posting blogs and updates there, so please have a look. Finally, despite uncertainty concerning government regulations, we celebrated our end-of -year social event at the NH Hotel in Düsseldorf on 4 December, which was well worth Khanh-Duc`s persistance. Oh what fun to connect, socialize and have some laughs in a „real“ reality. Lorcan has beautifully illustrated those shared moments, our liveliness, brainstorming tasks and new insights in his poem (see below).

During the event, we connected with a teacher in Palestine and 2 founders of an educational initiative „The Hands Up Project“ who explained how successful teaching English to foreign children had become, using short plays via Zoom. To overcome the isolation Palestinian children have been experiencing, this initiative reaches out to EFL teachers who are willing to participate by uniting children through a common task, the play. The enthusiasm and success of this project stems from the passionate heartbeat of Palestinian children, curious to connect to a world otherwise unbeknown. This collaboration with the University of Siegen was introduced to us by Khanh-Duc, and all donations on that day went towards supporting the project. For those interested in participating, Khanh-Duc is the person to contact.

Our event culminated with a sumptuous dinner, beautifully presented and delicious liquid refreshments. Our talks moved to topics far removed from teaching, and I realized once again the diversity of life experience, irrespective of qualifications, that each trainer brings and integrates in his/her teaching, is the essence that makes this profession so unique in style and offering. A deep curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning seems to be one of our common attributes, thus making social gatherings lively and never boring. With that said, I truly value your feedback, ideas and comments on how to be of utmost service to you, as your new editor. Selecting and compiling appropriate and interesting content for our quarterly newsletter requires collective input and teamwork. We would love to provide you with a newsletter that is informative, interesting and inspiring, so please, lend a hand, an ear a whatever it takes to send us your thoughts. Please contact me and send those creative ideas to add even more value to the services we offer and to raise all of our personal and professional skills. Let`s move together to a dynamic future, where new possibilities and projects shine.

On a closing note, my heartfelt and warmest blessings to you and your loved ones, during this festive season. May the shining lights of Christmas be with us all!

Best wishes for a healthy and happy start into 2022!


Photo by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash