And just like that, my first visit to #IATEFL is over. It was a hectic, at times frantic, few days but it was a productive and enjoyable one too.
In-flight professional developmentI am writing this post while waiting for take-off on my way back from Manchester but it will hopefully act as a filler while I write up other reflections on the sessions I attended. Right now, I am thinking of some of the quotes and soundbites that stood out for me and will attempt to capture that here. Some of them may not be word for word accurate (hence the use of 'paraphrase' in the title) and they may or may not be attributed to those who uttered them. Some of them provoked moments of deep reflection and some of them were more frivolous but fun.
"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there."
Liliana Simon encourages us to break with the routine and experiment.
"Bingo is the only thing that works with these kids."
Donald Freeman brilliantly crafts the story of a teacher struggling for ideas at the end of the week into his narrative of how we need to push ourselves to think a little deeper about what we do in the classroom.
Donal Freeman’s plenary at IATEFL 2015
"Teaching is the profession that eats its young."
Anthony Gaughan quotes J. Halford and draws (unintended) gasps from the sections of the audience int he process.
"The grim predictability: behind Joy Egbert's tailor-made tech-mediated individual input is still an exercise on the past simple."
Hugh Dellar brilliantly sums up what I was at the time struggling to fit into one tweet.
Joy Egbert’s plenary talk
"This helps them learn more efficiently, which means they learn more quickly."
Another point where I disagreed with Joy Egbert. Efficient use of class time does not mean quick progress. Indeed, as Candy van Olst said in her talk, meaningful learning takes time.
Candy van Olst on the value of real conversation
"Tests aren't going away, so…."
Jeremy Harmer makes a case for just getting on with it as far as testing goes. A good thing he didn’t say ‘tests aren’t going anyhwere’ as that would have been more open to interpretation!
"I was almost ready to leap to my feet in spontaneous applause and then she said the P word."
A reaction to the name dropping of certain companies during otherwise excellent talks.
(...pause... ...bend knees, long look at name tag...) "Oh, Dave - it's you!"
Repeated on a few occasions! I think I need to update my social media profile pics… or go to more conferences…
"I thought ‘I can’t sleep until I externalise this in a blog post.’"Well, with all that externalised and continental Europe unfolding beneath me, I think it’s time to catch up on some missed sleep and then plan out another IATEFL-themed blog post or three.
Errr…. me discussing late-night blogging with Sandy Millin.