The Burning Questionnaire: Shelly Sánchez Terrell

There's something about Shelly....

There’s something about Shelly….

And about time too…..Apologies for the loooong break; life got in the life, as is its wont. But to make up for the hiatus, I’ll be bringing you interviews with several willing victims over the next few weeks – I do hope you enjoy the insights into their lives. We are ‘only teachers’, not Hollywood pillars making seemingly controversial (though who knows why) statements about their lives, private and/or public, we’re not world famous sportspeople ‘coming clean’, we are teachers. Ordinary folk. But personally I don’t think that makes any one of us any less special or interesting, a less seductive casket of memories and anecdotes, than the Golden Globe and Tour de France winners of this world, and sometimes it’s warming, amusing even, to find how alike yet different we all are. There’s safety in numbers and sparkle in being unique.

I waffle. It’s Friday. And Shelly is far, far more special than me and my blah. Back in October, we celebrated eltpics second birthday with a guest post by Shelly Terrell, and lo and behold, we were lucky enough to have our best day to date, hits-wise, on our main blog, Take a photo and… Would you like to find out a little bit about what makes Ms Terrell tick? Here she is, eELT’s Number One lady (OK, maybe she shares her crown…. but then, she’s like that 😉 ), Shelly S Terrell.


What is your full name, and where did it all start?
Shelly Sanchez Terrell, but originally Shelly Mendez Sanchez. I was born in San Antonio, Texas and I am of Mexican and Native American descent. You can read about my personal struggles with learning English in a post I wrote for Ken Wilson, Children of Immigrants.

What music do you listen to while driving/cooking/contemplating your navel?Tango
I enjoy all types of music and especially love listening to records on my record player. I like artists like Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Maria Callas, James Brown, Jeff Buckley, Parliament, and the Dave Matthews Band. I have a lot of music listed on Spotify, GrooveShark, and Youtube.

What’s the most satisfying – or frustrating – aspect of your job?
The most satisfying aspect of my job is I get to pursue my passion and meet teachers, students, and parents worldwide who are impacted by it and share their incredible journeys with me.

Writing or teaching? Why?
Teaching. I’m terrible at meeting writing deadlines as my publisher will currently tell you. I really enjoy getting learners of all ages excited about learning and exploring their curiosities, especially with technology and mobile devices. You will often see me with a child or adult playing with an app!

A teacher from your schooldays:
MiekeMina Stecklein was my Speech and Debate coach and she kept believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. She taught me how to speak publicly and used very avant-garde methods. I used to squeak, spit, and be very shy and awkward at speaking. Now, I speak in front of audiences weekly and help spread great messages about learning.

What was the first thing you learnt as a TEFL teacher?
The first thing I learned was that you have to make connections with the learners. If they don’t like you well then you won’t be a very effective teacher and you will have a horrible year.

What motivates/inspires you most?
When I see people at any age excited and moved by their learning.

Do you ever cry in the cinema?
I try not to, but I have to admit that I wept throughout most of Brave Heart, Last of the Mohicans, and Life is Beautiful.

Image by Sandy Millin at #eltpics

Image by Sandy Millin at #eltpics

A favourite meal? Where?
How about lahanodolmades, a rioja, and anywhere near the ocean and great music.

A dream?
To live on a beautiful sunny beach with Rosco, my pug.

Dream car?   Well, my dream vehicle is a teleportation device so that Rosco and I can just go anywhere in seconds.

Beach, mountains or city?   The beach because water calms me and I love watching sunrises or sunsets at the beach.

A sport?   I enjoy soccer/football because there’s constant action and I love when the players make really cool goals. I also think the World Cup is an incredible event that brings the world and people together.

Image by Diarmuid Fogarty at #eltpics

Image by Diarmuid Fogarty at #eltpics


3 thoughts on “The Burning Questionnaire: Shelly Sánchez Terrell

  1. Pingback: A Visual Bucket List: A Life Lesson for Learners | take a photo and….

  2. Pingback: Not So Ordinary Folk | The Write Quote

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