So my time at IATEFL has come to an end. So it is time to emerge from the SEC bubble and return to the real world. Out from this temporary village, where over the course of a few days, friendships are made, business is done and nods are exchanged with the many faces that are suddenly familiar and unknown at the same time.
So what were the highlights.
As always the plenaries I was fortunate to attend were inspiring and thought provoking, invigorating me for another year of juggling schedules, implementing ideas and, hopefully, motivating students.
The nuggets I will store for the next few months…..
Gabriel Diaz Maggioli focused on the importance that institutions, and I would venture teachers themselves, need to look at Professional Development
“not as an expense but as an investment.”
“It is time the institutions we work for respond to our needs”
Sarah Mercer continued on this theme: The importance of the teacher as the lynch-pin of successful learning. A theme which certainly seemed to resonate with her audience. At a time when fewer new teachers are entering the field and more are leaving; when education in the US appears to be up for the highest bidder, the re-evaluation of teachers as a valuable commodity to be treasured rather than an inconvenient requirement to making money in education has been a running theme this year. But as teachers we also need to be kinder to ourselves. To forget the single negative comment and instead focus on what we know we can do well as teachers. Our strengths, our passions and ourselves.
And focusing on our strengths and passions, a shout out to Shirley Norton and the lovely Raquel Ribeiro.
Shirley shared her journey through moving from project management to managing changing and showed the importance of knowing your strengths whilst also exhibiting the growth mindset discussed by Sarah Mercer – I am learning every day. Forget expensive project management courses, this whistle-stop and honest tour through what can go right or wrong should be a must-see for anyone about to implement new projects or ideas.
And to finish, the passion of Raquel. A teacher working with wonderful imagination looking at new ways of incorporating tech into the classroom to provide her students with novelty, innovation and fun. Whilst never forgetting the oft-forgotten teachers working with little tech, few resources in remote or isolated areas of her native Brazil. @Rach_Gonzaga
Thank you to all the other speakers and attendees who collectively have left me with much to think about. Goodbye from IATEFL 2017 and see you in Brighton #IATEFL2018.