Travelling through Space and Time

If anyone is wondering how life would have been as a teacher years ago, the Scotland Street School Museum is just the right for you!

Yesterday, Verena and I decided to check it out and we were both gripped and delighted by that highly interesting museum. The building used to be a school during the 20th century and was designed by Charles Mackintosh. After its closure in 1979, it was restructured as museum, where school classes from different periods of time can be seen.

Typically designed classes from Victorian age, the 50s and the time of the Second World War are exhibited in that former school. In particular, the class of the Second World War caught our attention since I did not know how the war really affected schools and teachers. I must confess that it was a little bit oppressive to read through all the stories, told by former students who visited that school during the Second World War. Also the fact that the students had to wear gasmasks in boxes around their neck was pretty scary… Still, it gave a great insight into the historical background of British schools.


By the way, the classrooms can also be rented for some hours by schools. So, if you have time and money left at the end of a school year, you can go there with your class and react a typical school day in former times.

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Funny fact at the end: Boys and girls were not allowed to visit the same classes. They even had to play on different playgrounds during the breaks. They even had separate entries for school!!!!!!! (on the picture above we can see the entry for BOYS) Weeeeeeiiiird Past!!!!! 😛

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One for All, and All for One.

Today was a day full of pleasure and – more importantly – a day full of honour and pride.

First of all, we started our day with the amazing Plenary Session held by our great teacher Sarah Mercer. To see one of my teachers standing on the stage, catching the attention of hundreds of people and doing a great job in presenting was a unique experience, I will (hopefully) never forget.  There were 2 statements of the session that particularly stayed in my mind. The first one is something very important for me, namely that teachers create magic. Therefore, our magic power is to spread knowledge and to enthuse our students with the English language. Since I already wanted to become a magician as a little girl that sounds great to me. 😉
The second statement was the quote, “Take care of yourself, you can’t pour from an empty cup”. That’s something I really need to remember myself regularly.

So… I can’t say anything different apart from GREAT JOB MRS. MERCER – thumbs up!!!

And since we (the Austrian students) got feedback of a young lady, “You embody everything Sarah Mercer just explained”, I am sure that we were not the only ones who were gripped by the presentation.
Well, at least I hope that it was supposed to be a compliment… 😉


The next great session was Creative Use of Language through Humour conducted by Geoff Tranter. He showed us how we could teach with a good amount of humour. So hold on tight, from now on aaaaaall our blog-entries will be HILARIOUS! ;P


Unfortunately, the second session was very boring. Even though we had an interesting seating arrangement, the presentation by Sergio Monteiro about Can we motivate our students? was very boring. But hey, at least we had fun sitting on the floor like a caravan of students, listening to uninspiring quotes about motivational theory. 😉


My last session for today was held by a member of our travelling-family, namely Mrs. Ulla Fürstenberg. She told us about Developing Practical Theory. It was great to hear how she presented our University and even more fascinating for me that people from the audience were actually interested in the way of teaching at such a small university like Graz. 😉


After that eventful day at the conference, we spent the rest of the afternoon with strolling through the vibrant city of Glasgow, which finally ended with over 8 Kilometres of walk and a number of tired faces in the lobby of our hostel.


This brings me to the end of my blog, which I want to close with the perfectly fitting words we’ve already heard today in Mrs. Ulla Fürstenberg’s presentation,

“We – students and teachers- are travelling the road together.”

Brace yourself – we’re taking off!

Expectations… A big word for someone who has never been to any ELT conference and who has never even been to Glasgow before.

However, the most important expectation for me is probably that I hope to have a great and unforgettable time in a Glasgow, both at the conference and beyond. I can’t wait to hear some of the best international foreign language teachers talking about experiences and giving advice. Meeting people that coined my career as a student with their published books is a great honour for me and I am so excited to finally get there and to expand my knowledge in language teaching.
I also can’t express how much I am looking forward to getting to know more about the country and city itself.

Brace yourself Glasgow – The Austrian folks are coming!