Memories from my first IATEFL

It is a long time since I've started with the idea of blogging.  Going to the last IATEFL in Liverpool gave me motivation, encouragement and inspiration. 

The IATEFL lasted a week and it finished on April 12th this year. I had five amazing days, went to wonderful sessions and most of all, I met lovely friends face to face for the first time. It’s funny because I've been in touch with those people for some time, some of them, for a long time. What good and warm surprises I had!  So many hugs, kisses, sweet smiles and conversations! Not to mention Liverpool was the perfect place for a crazy Beatles fan like me!

I’ll never forget the sweet words, the amazing company and the lessons I took from my roommate Ana Maria Menezes, who I first met online two or three years ago and who is now a close friend and my advisor.   

How could I describe the happiness to meet Teresa Gomes de Carvalho for the first time ftf in a cold rainy day in London? We spent 5 wonderful days together laughing at each other, having fun and enjoying that amazing city (we love visiting as much as possible) before the convention! And what to say about Michele Schwertner, the “Guria” from Porto Alegre (Brazil) who I had only met online? I’ll never forget her post on Facebook looking for me on the 1st day of the conference which ended up with a lot of responses by friends and colleagues from all over the world!

What a surprise to meet Malu Sciamarelli, Carla Arena, Justine Arena and Vicky Saumell in person! Such nice girls with wonderful smiles! It seems to me I've known you for ages, girls!

The list is endless! I cannot describe the joy to meet and hug again my sweet dear friends Ricardo Sili, Ana Paula Gasparini, Dri Lima, Jeff Stranks, Graeme Hodgson, Paulo Machado , Mabel Castro, and  lots of other people I love so much!

Most of the sessions I've attended had to do with technology and / or professional development.  Eventually I concluded that there is no way back:  Technology is a reality in the field of education and professional development is what will make us grow as people and as professionals.

As for technology, although I am fully aware of the importance of it in education and I have used it for a long time, I was really surprised by the amount of Apps and new Apps used in the field of ELT, but most of all, I was  really amazed by the creativity of those who dedicate their time to teach and develop new ideas in this field.

I was impressed by Carla Arena’s session  who presented us with  Tools for curation” and  reflections on What has changed, the volume of information and that Knowledge is now a property of the network.  Yes, there’s no way back.

I do not want to be unfair,  but I was so happy to attend the session delivered by Chryssanthe Sotiriou and DIMITRIS PRIMALIS entitled “Literature strikes back- using technology to teach literature”.  I must say I was lovely touched by this session and by the fact that I had the opportunity to have a short but invaluable conversation with Dimitris, who I've been in touch for some time and whose work I do admire.

As teachers we have talked a lot about learners being responsible for their learning process. What about us teachers? Have we been responsible enough for our teaching process and professional development? It reminds me of Luke Meddings session on PD when he delivered a fantastic presentation comparing PD to some Beatles songs. Awesome!

The list of wonderful sessions is huge and I would spend hours  writing about them but wisdom prevents me from doing it. 

I feel privileged for the opportunity I had to attend this IATEFL, not my first international conference, but my first IATEFL. When I think about our reality in Brazil I'd say there is still a way to go.  On the other hand, I have my eyes and mind wide open and I know I am trying to do my best to become a better professional each day , but most of all, I want to make new friends, learn from them and share my knowledge and happiness with them. 

"...and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make" 
Paul McCartney