Joined: 26 Jul 2007
|Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:44 am Post subject: An appeal to TEFLers everywhere
|I would be grateful if you could help me and TEFLers everywhere by sparing ten minutes to read this and do one of the actions suggested below
Some background: 2 weeks ago a certain Paul Lowe of Windsor Schools/Windsor TEFL came out of nowhere and into my life by threatening to sue me and the owner of the site my blog,TEFLtastic, is on. Obviously boosted by the success this effortless method had in shutting down Sandy McManus's TEFLtrade blog and Wally Windsor's site, he didn't even think it was worth spending a few minutes checking what TEFLtastic had to say about him before firing off a threatening email. I can say that with full confidence because before I reprinted his email mentioning legal action there was not one reference to Paul Lowe or Windsor Schools on my blog.
So, why should you care? Apart from the specific loss of a couple of blogs, I would argue that there is a major principle at stake here, one that could affect all of us and one that we are approaching a critical period with.
The TEFL world on the internet is rapidly changing from one where a quick Google search can bring up a full and colourful range of views from teachers, students, trainees and the occasional crank, to one where any TEFL related searches will find you yet again on Cactus TEFL or i-to-i TEFL. My accidental brush with Mr Lowe has helped me come up with a plan to tackle that loss of our influence. Whether it will be a successful last stand or not I can't say, but here's how to go out with our guns blazing:
My proposal is to make a lesson of Mr Paul Lowe of Windsor Schools/Windsor TEFL that other school owners and TEFL training organisations can learn from by making sure that everyone who searches for him on the internet hears what we have to say, and making sure there are enough of us saying it that he has to give up the use of unjustified threatening emails to silence us. As diversity of voices is the whole point, I won't even suggest what you could say about him, but here are some simple and time efficient ways of using this opportunity to show the TEFL big boys we won't be gagged:
- Paste this and/or your own comments into an email and send it to everyone you know, especially people in TEFL
- Leave a brief message of support here or anywhere else he or his school get a mention
- Google him or his school and only click on the pages that give an independent viewpoint
- Give links to such pages in your blog, MSN page, Facebook page, email signature etc.
- Paste this post and/or make a comment in your blog with suitable tags, or in any of those other places mentioned above
- Start a new thread on this topic in TEFL and other forums
- Start a suitably titled new blog with info and links on Paul Lowe and Windsor TEFL-it takes literally 5 minutes to set up a free blog on Blogger or Wordpress,and if I can anyone can!
- Write to Paul himself at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know what you think
I hope I have convinced you that by making our voices heard in this way we can all benefit in the longer term, or at least that I am genuine in my attempts and worth 5 minutes of your time to help.Any help at all would be much appreciated
Alex Case, TEFL teacher and blogger.
TEFLtastic blog- 'All the truth that's fit to teach'- www.tefl.net/alexcase