Though I’ve been teaching for quite a few years in Europe I’ve never really taken advantage of any of the strong circles of fellow teachers working around the continent. The Annual IATEFL Conference is a place where they all get together to exchange ideas and learn about what’s happening in the English Language Teaching world. This year it’s being held in Glasgow (which has been surprisingly warm and sunny).
There’s much more to it than I had thought and if you are an English language teacher you should absolutely go to your boss’s office and start asking about how you can go next year to represent your school.
Lots of cool, curious teachers and teacher support have come over to be curious and show support for what we are doing at ExamSpeak. For Paul and I who are representing, it’s been amazing getting face-to-face feedback.
It was wonderful seeing the people spread far beyond our expectations. Absolutely brilliant PhDs languishing, clever recruiters, weary, bleary, cheery stand manners, teachers who have become everything to stay away from classroom teacher wages all wishing to be back, people who see it as a lifestyle, people aspiring to better posts, people trying to write better blog posts, friends, rivals, great friends, name droppers, show stoppers for fanboys. There are writers. And guys like our excellent neighbours helping each other help teachers and schools all over.
And we feel quite pleased indeed with how ExamSpeak’s features have been received by IATEFL members. So here’s our little emotional tribute to IATEFLers everywhere:
IATEFL is… just what it says.
International. Turkey. China. England. Ireland. Dubai. Well over 150 rejected stereotypes even Nepal.
Association. Being here it’s easy to see how we all depend on each other for everything from students to tools to theory.
Teachers. Everything facilitates or directs the teaching of learners.
English. The exquisitely respected way of thinking which hope everyone will be happier knowing.
Foreign. In spite of how we may want to be able to understand everything there is nothing more everyone seems to treasure than being foreign, unique or indescribable without a story.
Language. The great mystery we all get around to talking about after ticking the boxes: Life described.