I would like to share with you, how it was my first time at Iatefl two weeks ago.
Well, it is a mix of feelings, that it will be so tough to describe into words, but I will try my best.
First of all, I had to fight against some fears. Some of you know how I panic traveling by plane. It is something bigger than myself ( Not the plane itself, but the fear of flying). I did some therapies, meditation, medication and whatever. However, my desire to attend the conference was stronger than my fear, so that I bought the tickets. I had all support from my family and friends and, I said to myself “May God be with me”.
Why would I be afraid of flying? I kept this on my mind until the day that I flew to Paris, where I stayed for 2 days and, I had some great things to do there. One of them, I visited Paris again and also, I attended a workshop about English in French culture at British Council – France where I met some Teachers not only from France but also from other countries. It was just amazing! They shared with me their expectations on French teaching context and, I shared mine as well.
Besides I had this nice meeting in France. I was looking forward to meeting my dearest friend Teresa who was waiting for me in London to go to Manchester, where our encounter at the Euston Station was hilarious, anyway…
The day has come. I was there at the 49th IATEFL Conference in Manchester full of expectations and no fear to meet my PNL friends, attend some talks that I have been waiting for so long and make new friends.
I learned so many good things – from Using videos in my class to Overcoming challenges for continuous professional development.
Of course I would like to attend other talks and workshops, but I could not do so. Thus, little by little I am catching up with the recording, blog posts on British Council site.
Being at the Conference, It was my wow moment! Many things to read about, amazing posters and a lot of food for thought – relationship between school and parents, inclusive education, teaching English in difficult circumstances (so close to my teaching context), use of photos, videos, poetry, storytelling and a very funny moment to teach pronunciation and on. Phew! All of them really worthwhile!
These talks have opened my point of view to adapt the activities presented within my context and also will create an enviromnemt of sharing and learning with my students. That is what I am always looking for – ideas, creativity and innovation with simplicity.
By the way, I would like to thank all the presenters, very inspiring all talks I have been to but in special Mercedes Viola who raised awareness about Inclusive Education an extreme issue for our field today.
And how about networking? I had a memorable time meeting my PNL friends that I have been talking for years and, hanging around, laughing, hugging them was incridible. In times of untrustworthy friends on social media, our friendship is the proof that the “fair” use of internet can contribute for everlasting friendship, sharing and caring relationship with real good people.
And there was another reason for being at the IATEFL – BrELT (BRELT – Brazilian Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) is a group of teachers in Brazil discussing issues about ELT, EFL, PD so that we were at the IATEFL as a rover reporter posting photos, sessions links, interviews and on. Today BrELT has 5,638 members with great moderators – Bruno Andrade, Raquel Oliveira, Natalia Guerreiro, Rose Bard and Priscila Mateini. I am so proud of being part of BrELT and I learn every day with them.
and about the city? Manchester City you really suprised me, good food, beautiful places to sightseeing, football and, full of nice music (Oasis, Stone Roses,The Smith and on…)
and what the future holds to me next year? Without a doubt, I will be back next year in Birmingham.
So, I had the time of my professional life there and I hope see you all soon again…
Ted Talk : https://youtu.be/EFNIgg4e780
fotos: personal files.