- A day or more surrounded by the most motivated and vibrant group of people you can imagine, I have never attended a conference anywhere that was attended by morose, unmotivated teachers – they all stay home!
2. The chance to reflect on life as well as teaching, at ETAS AGM this weekend Marjorie Rosenberg’s plenary about stretching out of our comfort zones – a subject dear to my heart this year.
3. Not to mention practical ideas that I can use to tweak my lessons next week, I always feel I’ve got value out of a conference if I’ve got a few ideas to share with colleagues just to show the boss I was really working there!
4. I even get ideas from the location itself! This was from the walls of one of the workshop rooms, so I “borrowed” a complete project on Sherlock Holmes.
5. A load of great new resources to look through at the book exhibition, as well as freebies. If you hang around the book exhibition when they’re clearing up on the last day some publishers give away stuff rather than taking it back home.
6. The chance to meet some brilliant people, this year I met the amazing swissssirja at ETAS, who has promised she’ll blog again soon! Over the years I’ve met people who have become really good friends, such as the fantastic IP&SEN SIG gang, and the ETAS tribe.
7. The chance to visit new places, thanks to conferences I’ve been to Frankfurt, Harrogate, Athens, Glasgow, Paris, Brighton, Toulouse, Lisbon, Manchester, Grenoble, Madrid, Birmingham, and loads of places around Switzerland.
8. The opportunity to spoil myself in a yummy hotel with a great friend instead of doing my usual weekend chores( is that really naughty of me?!)
9. New places to go running – pack your trainers, a great way to discover the conference town as well as essential airing of brain matter.
10. As Marjorie mentioned in her plenary, there’s also the chance to stretch myself out of my comfort zone, by giving talks in these conferences I take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about subjects that interest me. While I’m certainly no expert I try and learn enough so I can share these ideas with other teachers.
And finally I feel that as teachers, it is essential we keep up our CPD. I realise I’m very lucky to have the time and finances to attend these events, but trust me, if you can manage to go to an ELT conference – you won’t regret it!