So, for the first time I get to join the great ELT flock and travel as part of the annual migration to a UK destination for IATEFL.
This year it's Glasgow. It's been ten years of wanting to go, not being able to afford to go, and good fortune that I am going this year. I'd like to be presenting something, but due to the last minute nature of it all won't be able to, I will find other ways to contribute. This blog post for one :)
At the same time the amount of carbon produced in the global travel of participants, the permanent UK location of the conference (why is it always in UK?), the fact that it is very expensive (remember the pay to present discussion), commercial, large, a 'fractured experience' according to some, and so on, all leave me cold.
On the other hand, IATEFL broadcasts a lot of its plenary's and other sessions helping to mitigate the carbon and the costs. In the past I have been able to watch these from the comfort of the office, or where ever I am calling home, I really remember this one from Tessa Woodward which I loved.
This year I am really hoping to have a good reflect. I hope to be inspired. I really hope that it helps focus me for my dissertation, and provides some useful things for me to take back to Palestine when I continue my work here after a few weeks off.
On the less serious side I thought I'd make a few predictions about the upcoming get together, no offence....
These events are often an eye feast of English teachers from all over the world in their finest get up. So,
Waistcoats - I reckon I will be one of the few men without a waistcoat, in fact I may have to buy one while there if it is derigeur
Red Trousers - i reckon there will be one or two pairs of red panted male ELTers
Overly smart people - this may be because I am a scruffy git, but I tend to spot the very smart. Defining this I am thinking double breasted jackets and tie clips...
- Plenty of presentations about flashy tech stuff most of which is currently exclusive to the wealthy, on line, connected 20% of the world...love it but...
- PLNs / PLEs - something impacting on my life, very useful stuff for the teacher without helpful colleagues, or who wants to develop in and out of school setting...
- Lots of Apple Macing and smart phoning - and me being jealous of my inability to participate on the back channel on a Steve Jobs Machine...
- I will buy an apple computer before the week is out :)
- Someone will read their presentation from a power point and it will be awful...happens at every conference, will it happen at IATEFL too?
- There will be a difficult audience member (me?) who asks difficult, critical, obtuse questions...
- I will end up (unknowingly) in a commercial presentation of some kind, and I won't like it that what i thought was about learning and teaching is more about me being sold a product / service. This will be as annoying as those films where it's just one big product placement...unless you like flash gimicks and gadgets
- Dogme - there will be stuff on dogme, from the dogmeists of planet dogme, they will not plan their sessions, and they will not place products, or will they?
Around the fringes
- There will be lots of hangovers after all the evening 'receptions'
- Someone will go way to far with the buckfast, not realising how mental it turns people (me?)
- There will be karaoke to a near professional standard that will make you think that the singer has been practising that song for months
- Pecha-Kucha will be great
- Someone will offer to share (like it's new) the talking lift that doesn't cope with Scotish accents video
- There will be lots of talk about the weather, Scottish nationalism
- There will be red TEFL blood....
Let TEFL communion commence. May you network til you have smarm ingratiatingly dripping from your every pore, may you share your lessons from the class/training room, may you meet lots of new and old friends, may you get that job, and please above all, please let me get some inspiration for me self...
For a slightly more sober post on a similar theme try this about getting the most from conferences, some good suggestions that doubtless will fall on my deaf ears / blind eyes...
Ps: English for Accounting could be fun..I clicked on the link below and it took me to this page
Talk about sexing it up!