23rd IATEFL Slovenia conference – some random thoughts.
Sitting at the Munich airport on my way back to school reality, I am once more amazed at the power of sharing experience. In Topolsica where 23rd IATEFL Slovenia Conference was held I met great figures of ELT world and regular passionates. I have come there, supported by IATEFL Poland and IATEFL Slovenia, to share my ideas and present. my talk on teachers’ burnout syndrome „Let your fire burn…”.
High spirited on arrival, I soon realised I don’t have much to offer the teachers who come to Topolsica. They know much more about fighting stress, fatigue, exhaustion, depersonalisation and low self-esteem. How? Simply by attending the event.
The conference, by no means the cosiest networking and professional teacher development event on earth was truly the place where inspiration is born. Organized in the breathtaking spa resort of Terme Topolsica it was a perfect combination of the right place, fabulous people, well-chosen speakers and filled with the high rate plenaries, workshops, discussions and the most importantly time to pamper yourself.
It was the tenth time that Slovens invited ELT professionals to Vesna Hotel and it couldn’t have been any other place. Located in a quiet valley, the luxurious Hotel was the venue to conference but also a place to relax in thermal water pools, jacuzzis, saunas. The surrounding ovegrown hills, perfect for trekking and running, gave me a lot of chances to discover budding spring.
It was by far, the most fruitful and inspiring conference for me. And even if I’m tired now and my head is steaming with ideas I know I will digest this rare delicacy very slowly and for a long time. I received the huge gift of observing Ken Willson presenting simple but powerful tasks developing students’ speaking and listening skills. Luke Meddings in turn, more philosophical in his plenaries, suggested the ways of teaching in dogme spirit.
I was rolling on the floor laughing at Thom Jones’s jokey comments on school’s reality and was touched by the way he talked about poetry. By the way, if you ever have chance of listening or talking to this jovial and bearded Summer Boarding Courses principal,, I thoroughly recommend it.
Mike Harrison introduced me to drawing tasks as a stimulus for speaking, but most importantly he made me realise the value of everyday sounds
Barbi Bujtas once more showed her in-depth understanding of generation “Z” and openness to her young students. Aleksandar Tonić showed us Nearpod application, a neat piece of ICT to be used in the classroom now and then.
I first met Margarita Kosior on-line while designing Holocaust Memorial Day lessons and I ever since I was waiting to know more of her inspiring ideas. Her energetic workshop was devoted to her University students discovering passion of teaching.
I had also pleasure to talk to members of ABELTA Alliance of Balkan English language Teachers’ Associations and I wish them long years of fruitful cooperation in order to bring together so many countries which share so much of history and culture.
I learnt new tasks, new perspectives not only from the people I mentioned, but also from so many new friends I met in the lobby or during the workshops.
It was the utmost pleasure to present my ideas of how to fight teachers’ burnout syndrome. I absolutely adored the energy of the participants of my workshop and I would like to especially thank to two of my colleagues for helping me during the workshop, Margarita Kosior for dancing bachata with me and Nicola Epps for showing us the yoga asanas that may bring us and our students peace and relaxation.
I would like to express my gratitude to both supporting me associations and special thanks go to Sandra Vida and Dragana Stegić from IATEFL Slovenia and Marta Bujakowska from IATEFL Poland for making my Topolsica experience possible.
Thank you very much! Najlepša hvala! Dziękuję bardzo!