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Where to Now? - Editorial

Welcome to Issue #4 of "The Rag"

So, here we are. Another year has passed. Or should we say, another year has just begun? This is the second year of The Rag, and add to that all of the years you have been teaching. Some of you may be nearing retirement, with or without a sigh of relief. Others may be just starting out upon a new teaching career.

Whoever we are, wherever we came from, and wherever we are headed - we are all here together, right now. ETNI provides us with a sense of community, of not feeling alone, of being able to share our frustrations and our victories, throughout the year and beyond.

We hope that The Rag has contributed something to your teaching experience, so far. We are continually trying to draw in new writers, and will continue to do so. Hopefully, all of you will find time to write for The Rag at some time in the coming years.

Four new writers have joined our writing staff for this issue of The Rag. Michele Ben provides us with a riveting account of how a frustrating failure was almost enough to break her, despite her many successes as a teacher throughout a quarter century of teaching. Miri Yochanna offers sound advice on how to choose the correct course book for your students' needs. Avraham Roos introduces us to Googlefight, reflecting on how the availability of powerful computers and very large corpora now make the development of frequency lists a much easier job, and explains how this can be utilized in the classroom. Irit Ferman, in the first in a two-part series on Performance Assessment, takes an in-depth look at the "what" and the "why" of the subject.

Barry Silverberg, the master of satire, entertains us with his examination of this year's blooper harvest, collected from the Summer 2007 Bagrut.

Our resident writers have provided us with a wealth of new material. Nellie Deutsch provides an in-depth analysis of the English Curriculum. Mitzi Geffen maintains that you can come back to school dramatically, by having a few energy-packed, pleasantly challenging, high-interest and/or amusing first few lessons, thus setting the tone for a great year of learning. Laurie Ornstein explores how to adopt and adapt the very popular A Star is Born talent show idea into the English classroom. Naomi Epstein shares her personal reflections as to how she managed to overcome her inability to draw, in her role as a teacher of the Deaf. And Aviva Shapiro discusses how we can teach our students to become more responsible for their learning, and thus eradicate most of their behaviour problems.

And our resident poets - Barry Gonen, Phyllis Oded and Maris Mohr - have once again brought The Poet's Corner alive with their poetry.

And finally, you have the answers to the ETNI Quiz, which appeared in Issue #3 of The Rag. The Grand ETNI Wizard, who answered the most questions correctly, is Dorian Cohen.

Once again, my many thanks to Naomi Epstein, who worked with me to get out this issue of The Rag. Without her help, we would still be in first gear.

We hope you enjoy perusing this issue of The Rag. And we welcome your comments and suggestions. Please write us.

David (September 6, 2007)

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