2017-2018 was my first conference free school year since I started teaching. It was weird, but also kind of relaxing. 2018-2019 however is going to be a whirlwind and I'm starting off with iFLT in Cincinnati.
iFLT is the international Forum on Language Teaching. The conference is often held in the US. I did attend last summer, in Denver and it was AMAZING. This year, the conference is a bit closer, in Cincinnati so I'll be driving down tomorrow to start the conference.
I am starting my week at the Coaching for Coaches workshop. We will be practicing, and discussing coaching styles to better train teachers that come to our workshops/events etc. After that We will have our first coaching session, and then I will meet with my Adult Spanish teacher team.
I am one of five teachers that will be teaching the Adult Spanish class. What is unique about iFLT is that conference attendees can go and watch real classes with real students. This is the first time that iFLT has done an "apprentice" program, so I will be paid with a Master teacher who will observe me being observed. I am so looking forward to this experience, especially because I'm wanting to start an adult Spanish class of my own.
My mornings this week will be filled with the the language labs, and then I'll have time to go to other sessions and talks that pique my interest. But there are SO MANY OPTIONS! I think I am most looking forward to learning more about the Net Hypothesis with Dr. Stephen Krashen. I have a basic understanding of the Net (that if you give students enough input, they will have uptake in whatever they are cognitively ready for), but I think it will be a very interesting session.
While I'm at the conference, I will be working on grad school. I'm currently taking a Methods Course, and doing an experiential module(essentially, a self planned project). My EM, originally, was going to be conference attendance/reflection. But after talking with my adviser, we decided to go a different route. I will be using what I do at this conference as a basis to develop training modules for language teachers (Look for those in Spring 19).
And of course, one of the biggest reasons I am looking forward to iFLT is to hang out with my teacher tribe. It is such a rejuvenating experience to be around folks who believe the same things you believe, but who are also willing to challenge you in those beliefs.
Part of my EM will be reflections on sessions I attend so I will probably create a Master Post for that where everything will hang out.
BTW, check out all of the iFLT18 tweets here!