Having ignored my blog for months and months, I feel compelled yet again to give it another lease of life following the amazing, the incredible, the mind-boggling IATEFL Glasgow 2012 conference. I was lucky enough to win a scholarship, from Cactus, giving me entry to all four days of the main conference, in addition to which I treated myself to a Pre-Conference Event (PCE) with the Teacher Development Special Interest Group (TD SIG). It has been a memorable experience, so to start with I am going to attempt to extract what, for me, were the top five (one for each day of IATEFL 2012!) highlights of this past week.
In no particular order then…
– Attending a plethora of talks and workshops, including some given by people whose names I know from the methodology books etc that I have used. E.g. Jim Scrivener, Jeremy Harmer, Adrian Underhill, Michael Swan, Luke Meddings, Lindsay Clandfield. I can’t choose a favourite session because there have been too many brilliant sessions for me to pick only one!
– Participating in the TD SIG pre-conference workshop on using drama and improvisation on Monday 19th March. (Link to a report to come..) A fantastic start to my week, long ago now though it seems! It was a lot of fun, hands-on and we all came away with a host of techniques to try out in the classroom in time to come.
– Putting faces to a large number of Twitter handles: Having participated in #eltchats and followed the hashtag for ten months now, gaining much in the way of inspiration, motivation and support, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting my PLN in person rather than online. I believe we mostly took over the #IATEFL/#IATEFL2012 hashtag! If it weren’t for #eltchat, I wouldn’t have found out about the scholarships and therefore wouldn’t have just attended my first conference: Thank you, all of you!
– Participating in a follow-up session/discussion to Jim Scrivener’s talk on High-Demand Teaching: Wow! Turns out that as well as writing awesome books for teachers, Jim and Adrian are also really nice guys, as were the other dozen or so people who joined in this session. Sharing thoughts and ideas with all of them was a very cool experience indeed.
– Making the most of the Exhibition stands’ discounts and acquiring a small stack of new books to get my teeth into (once my brain has recovered from conference overload syndrome!). It was wonderful to see so many ELT books together in one place, rather than the half a bookshelf they are often allocated in bookshops.
And an additional one for luck: sharing a hotel room and the conference experience with Sandy Millin, who has been to conferences before and offered me support and guidance throughout: far easier and more enjoyable than the solitary alternative. Thank you, Sandy!
To all who I met at IATEFL, to all who presented, to all who worked behind the scenes to make it possible: you rock! (Spot the reference to the closing plenary… :-p)