Hi! I’m an EFL teacher from Recife, Brazil and I am very passionate about teaching. I think education is the key to solving many of the problems in today’s world and became a teacher because I truly believe teachers can make a difference in students’ lives – call me a romantic if you want, but I do – and I take teaching very seriously.

Besides teaching my other passions are books (am an obsessive reader), music (all kinds, but am really attached to 80’s rock), art and most of all my two kids. I have recently discovered the wonderful world of Web 2.0 and blogs and what it can do for a teacher’s professional development. And after reading many blogs , I realized that blogging is a powerful tool for professional development, not only for the one who reads but also for the writer. And I felt the urge to try and give something back to the blogging world too.

Here I plan to write about things, ideas and questions that go through my mind when I am teaching, because I teach. I plan to share activities I come up with and I think my PLN might enjoy… Let’s see how it goes. Because this blog is a box of chocolate for me: you never know what you’re going to get!

29 comments on “About

  1. Hi Cecilia
    Thank you very much for the quotations. I’ve made the Jorge Saramago one into a language plant on my blog, and translated as best I could, but would welcome any improvements.
    The Cora Coralina quotation I’m struggling with working out its meaning. Could you help, please?

    • Hi David!

      I saw the Saramago quote on your blog…and loved it! The translations seems fine. I actually enjoyed the whole idea (and posts) of your blog 🙂
      As for the Cora Coralina quote, I think it could be (roughly) translated as:

      Happy is he who transfers what he knows and learns what he teaches. – Cora Coralina

      What do you think? 🙂

      • Hi Cecilia
        Thank you for your kind comments.
        About the Cora translation, what does the last bit mean exactly? I understand the idea about passing on knowledge, and am happy when it happens (and when I receive it), but does the second part mean during the act of teaching you learn more about the subject matter? I do believe, well, it’s fact I’m sure, that you really find out how much you know about something when you try to explain it to someone else.

      • Hi David,

        You got it! The last part of Cora Coralina’s quote talks about how we also learn when we teach someone, we learn more about what we are teaching. Just like you I also believe in this. I know a lot more (and about) English than I did when I started teaching so many years ago.
        You’re always welcome 🙂


      • Rachel says:

        Hello! I am so happy to see a Cora Coralina quote! I sort of stumbled onto her story but cannot find English translations of her poetry. Her concepts and ideals seem lovely and I would absolutely adore to hear more! I’m an American and a literature fan, any idea where I might find an ENGLISH versionof her works? Thank you so very kindly. Rae

  2. Thanks Cecilia. It had me scratching my head. I’ve mentioned your emerging language post in one I wrote…

  3. Gianluca says:

    Hi Cecilia, my name is Gianluca and I am from Italy. I am a passionate and eager English learner. I have found out your blog by chance on Twitter and I’ve got to admit it is really interesting and stimulating. I crave enlarging my vocabulary so I keep reading a lot and continuously whatever I come across. Yesterday morning I started reading some posts of yours and I could not give up doing it for a couple of hours, without stopping myself a moment. Your writing style is great to such an extent I believed, at first, you were a native speaker of English. Keep up with your wonderful learning activities on line. Have a nice day!

    P.S: I noticed a little typos in your “About” post which I imagine you’ll see to correct: “I plan tyo* share activities”.

  4. Laszlo Peter says:

    Hi Cecilia,

    I’m Peter Laszlo, a former student and colleague of Mark Andrews in Budapest.

    Sorry to be writing in a comment, but I couldn’t find any other way to contact you.

    I am the co-founder of http://iSLCollective.com, a free teaching material
    sharing site for language teachers.

    I’d like to draw your attention to an initiative that I’m sure your readers would find very useful, and I’m kindly asking you to link to us/mention us on your website.

    In return, I’ve linked back to your site on http://en.islcollective.com/links

    Here’s a short summary of who we are:

    http://iSLCollective.com is hosting the Internet Second Language
    Collective, a file-swapping community of ESL, FLE (French), ELE (Spanish)
    and DAF (German) teachers sharing free, downloadable language-teaching
    materials. All printables are originally created by our members, and are
    in fully editable doc/ppt formats. By July 2011 our resource library grew to over 8000 worksheets, and is growing fast by the day so it’s worth checking back every now and then.

    I am looking forward to receiving your kind reply.

    Yours truly,

    Peter Laszlo
    Co-founder, iSLCollective.com
    ESL teacher, Xantus High School, Budapest

  5. Josefa King says:

    Dear Cecilia,

    My name is Sister M. Josefa. I teach EFL in Mâncio Lima, Acre, Brazil. I got really excited when I found your blog – It’s an excellent blog and the great thing is you teach in Brazil AND (it seems) you are even more passionate about teaching than I am! In your post: “Challenges, PLN and Where They Have Taken Me” you mention how you “discovered the world of Educator Blogs”, something which I started some time back and am still discovering. It was Jason Renshaw’s blog which led me to yours.

    I have found many resources and information about teaching EFL, but very little from (or about teaching in) Brazil. I did not grow up in Brazil and the Brazilian school system has been a challenge for me, especially since I was not trained to teach English (my area is Mathematics), but every year I enjoy it more and more.

    I would like to know if you teach in a public school or a private school? I hope that we will be able to do some networking and share some ideas.

    May our good Lord bless you abundantly!
    Sister M. Josefa

  6. Danielle says:

    Hi Cecilia,

    I apologize for leaving this message in a comment, but I was unable to find any other contact information. We’ve been hearing the word “Social” a lot these days when talking about education. But what does Social Learning really mean?

    I want to make sure you saw we just released a “virtual white paper” on what we see as the four big myths of Social Learning.http://blackboard.com/myths

    They are:

    1) Social Learning is New.
    2) Social Learning is the Same as Social Media.
    3) Social Learning is Just for Fun.
    4 ) Social Learning Doesn’t Have Broad Appeal

    Take a closer look here http://blackboard.com/myths and if you like it, please share with your readers! Here’s a sample tweet in case you don’t have time to share on your blog: I’m exploring the four myths of #SocialLearning with @Blackboard –http://blackboard.com/myths

    If you’d like a guest post or interview with our mythbusting leader John Dennett (Blackboard Mobile, @JGD3 on Twitter) please let me know, and of course, if there’s anything Blackboard can do to be helpful as you advance the education conversation!

    Thank you,

    On behalf of Blackboard
    202-540-8787 phone

  7. […] blogger is a passionate English Teacher in Brazil. Her name is Cecilia Lemos and her last post from October is a very inspirational one. She talks about the problems teachers […]

  8. zehirablog says:

    Hi! Just to let you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! go here for all the info: http://zehirablog.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/the-liebster-award/

  9. […] as teachers we doubt and discredit ourselves. Even more often do others assume our job is easy. Cecilia Lemos created a new mantra for all of us, and I like […]

  10. […] a great blog title and an even better blog. Blogger Cecilia Lemos called her blog a Box of Chocolates because… you guessed it, you never know what you are going to […]

  11. […] opened this blog because I was feeling hungry, and seeing the background of chocolates was a welcoming sight. Even […]

  12. […] since 2010, I guess I can still learn from her older posts.  Here is a link to the about me page http://cecilialemos.com/about/.  After the confusion I kind of feel like it would be helpful to have an updated info section but […]

  13. […] would never guess from reading her writing, but Cecilia Lemos is an nonnative […]

  14. […] Cecilia Lemos wrote about her worst day of teaching…when her technology happened to not work on the same day as her pedagogical coordinator was observing. Instead of coming up with a seamless transition into a group activity or worksheet, she blanked. At that point in my reading, I was embarrassed for her. I know I will be terrified when I get my first teaching job and have to be observed for the first time; I can’t imagine having my powerpoint not work. Luckily for Lemos, though, this wasn’t her first observation; she’s been teaching for nearly 20 years. It was great for me to read about how she took the situation in stride, and instead of dwelling on the fact that she blanked, she thought about how she could’ve made the activity she did end up doing better. That’s encouraging for my future mishaps, since I know they will happen! I also really loved being able to read through the comments and see other people’s worst teaching experiences; especially the ones in this picture! […]

  15. […] blog, Box of Chocolates brings up a lot of good points, this post in particular. Cecilia talks about how teachers are so used to being beat down because they aren’t paid enough or […]

  16. […] this year, Cecilia Lemos talked about teaching metaphors. A teaching metaphor is comparing something that you like to […]

  17. svetlana says:

    Hi Cecilia!
    I’m Svetlana.
    I’m English teacher at primary school from Ukraine.
    I would like to say thank you for making this wonderful blog.
    And I am happy to read your blog. It’s very interesting and useful for me. I’m wondering how computer technology can connect people and countries.
    You blog “Box of Chocolates” is delicious 😉

  18. […] The author for this blog found two metaphors to compare teaching to which related to her. In her first one she said, “Teaching is like buying new shoes.” At first when I read that I thought, how can shoes even be a comparison? As I began reading further I realized she was completely right! I learned that our students are like a new pair of shoes. The first time you buy a new pair, you are super excited and cannot wait to share them, but then you start getting blisters and need bandaids. The same goes with teaching, when you first begin the semester the students are very excited to start, but then sometimes you don’t hit it off right away and you hit some bumps in the road. My “wow moment” from this blog was when she said, but in time your shoes become comfortable and start loosening up, just like your students will as the year goes on. This is so true because sometimes is takes a little bit for the students to be comfortable in the classroom. Just as the picture below says, a new pair of shoes can change your life just like a new classroom full of students can change your life. […]

  19. […] is like…”, I was reminded, yet again, that teaching is not as easy as people think.  Cecilia Lemos was challenged to finish the metaphor, “Teaching is like…” She concluded that teaching is like […]

  20. […] post I’m reflecting on is entitled A New Mantra. As I began reading it, I discovered that the author was experiencing something that I’ve always feared – wondering if everything she was […]

  21. […] my lesson would be some what similar to Cecilia Lemos lesson but i would change and add a couple of […]

  22. Jessie says:

    Hi Cecilia,

    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you via this page. I’ve been reading your blog, which I found via your Twitter profile. I’ve very much enjoyed reading it and I wanted to get in touch.

    I work for Garnet Education, an ELT publisher in the UK. Though we specialise in EAP, we publish in a wide-variety of areas (e.g. Primary and Preschool, exam-prep materials, ESAP, ESP etc). We would like to invite you to write a guest post for our blog (which you can see here: http://www.garneteducation.com/blog/). To date, a lot of the posts have been very product-focused, which is something I’d like to step back from. I feel your posts are very relatable, and our followers would really enjoy your writing.

    If this is something you would like to pursue, the topic of the post would be up to you. I’d be happy to discuss ideas. You could even recycle a previous blog post of yours if easier. Posts are shared via our social media and newsletter.

    Let me know if you think you might be interested. We’re flexible and would be happy to work around you. I realise you’ve probably got a lot on your plate though, so don’t worry about saying no!

    Best wishes,

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