IATEFL … better than I’d have expected! 😀

At first I didn’t know what to expect from this experience. I knew from the beginning that we would learn many new things such as teaching strategies and different approaches to teaching in general. Just on the first day we had a very interesting plenary talk by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli in which he talked about teacher training. What I especially liked about this was the concept of “Utopia”: Utopia is like the horizon and no matter how many steps we make towards it, we won’t reach it. But in fact it’s not about reaching it but about going further. By this he means to develop constantly as a teacher. I have to say that I was in general really amazed by the plenary speeches because of their great approaches and ideas. What I really liked about Sarah Mercer’s talk was that she really presented those theories that she applies in her own teaching at university. I totally agree with her when she says that a good teacher-learner relationship is highly important for an effective learning process. Another point I agree with is that teachers also need to take care of themselves – meaning they shouldn’t forget that they are important as well. As teachers we should try to stay happy and healthy in order to be a friendly and helpful facilitator for the learners. Another talk that really inspired me was by J. J. Wilson. He is a really great character and I think he is an awesome teacher. He talked about social justice and how to reach it and I think that his approach is really helpful. I am also of the opinion that cultural and social issues/problems can be solved with stories, poems, images, literature and dance. To sum up, I can only say that the conference gave me the opportunity to talk to so many people from so many different countries and that definitely encouraged me to develop further as a future teacher and “TO KEEP GOING”.

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