“Make hay while the sun shines”… the sun did shine in charming Greenwich as if to say “Welcome to IHWO AMT Conference” and a warm welcome it was indeed. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones amidst learning novel approaches to teacher development, assessment techniques, navigating the students towards excellence in the IELTS exam, reviewing blended learning approaches and much more, the first day proved to be a professionally enriching experience which deserves to be recorded for future reference.
The day’s work started with an animated and live recorded video message wishing IHWO’s COO, Lucy Horsefield, a speedy recovery from her bout of tonsillitis. Just what the doctor ordered…actually it was what Monica Green, IHWO’s CEO ordered, but who’s concerned with semantics when it’s the thought that counts?! In true IHWO team spirit, Monica stepped in to cover for Lucy and addressed the significance of preparing students for jobs that are yet to be invented and the impactful mission IH schools have in assisting language learners in achieving their goals. After all, with 76 schools spread over 33 countries, why would students go elsewhere to learn a foreign language? Moreover, the array of Teacher Training opportunities, the concern for the younger students’ wellbeing and safety, the focus on providing a meaningful Customer Experience and the involvement in charitable projects such as those proposed by the newly set up International House World Foundation ensure that being part of the IHWO team is more than just a job but a way of “Succeeding Together”!
The underlying theme in the morning sessions was that of being bold in our exam preparation methods so that we can harness the ability modern “screenage” students have for multitasking and using it to develop their competence in the use of a foreign language, while circumventing the pitfalls of merging to need to teach with that of assessing, testing and preparing students for internationally recognised exams such as those of Cambridge University or Trinity College.
In the afternoon, the attention was mainly on sharing teaching practices which promote Teacher Professional Development, be them through informal meetings which result in greater self-reflection regarding strengths and areas to build on, drop-in observations that raise teachers’ awareness to the fact that teaching is a continuous act of learning and improving and the manner in which role-playing can be an effective developmental tool.
Signed off at 23.51.
Sign in tomorrow for b”log” entry 2.