This weekend, Dani, Simon, Ceri, Laura, Alex and T met up with some other ELT professionals for TEFL del Sur’s spring event. It was a new format this time, called CreatorSpace.
The idea of the new format was to allow participants more flexibility when choosing which topics to join in on, as well as moving away from the more traditional presenter-led, conference-style format of previous editions.
Ceri, one of TEFL del Sur’s organisers, said:
“It felt relaxed and focused at the same time and it was good to see that leaving people free to choose seemed to work for everyone. There were some really interesting conversations going on and I felt I got to really talk to lots of different people – more than usual.”
T, one of TEFL del Sur’s founders and former president enjoyed the event too:
“I had a wonderfully lazy morning! In the first session, I stayed in the Language Nerd room as I wasn’t so interested in YLs or Differentiation. It was fun though just to chat about some of those niggling problems that our students so often have. Then after the break, I headed straight for the room full of crafting materials. I used to love sticking boxes together to make things as a child. The process of making our ping pong ball slide was interesting, but it took a little longer than we’d expected so I didn’t get a chance to go to the EdTech room in the end – but it’s all good, I had fun! And to be honest, my main reason for going was that it gives me the opportunity to catch up with friends and make new ones!”
Dani, head of Teacher Training at Active said:
“I enjoyed a different format. It felt like a deeper swap shop and allowed for very open discussion on a variety of topics which wouldn’t be possible with a more rigid structure. New formats are difficult to get used to though and some people do enjoy the traditional top-down, expert-delivering-nuggets-of-gold approach. It won’t change over night but a fresh approach does shake things up.”
She was part of the team which created Tilly during the MakerSpace session.
Simon, who was part of the founding team of TEFL del Sur and is the Vice President, said:
“I loved the space and the freedom. I loved the way the conversations moved between the immediately practical to the deeply theoretical. We looked at specific Super Simple Songs to use in routines with very young learners and how to use jobs boards as well as theoretical discussions about the rights and wrongs of points systems and the role of parents in the learning processes. The freedom to share and the equality of participants meant there was space to talk about whatever topics, questions and problems we wanted. A great moment to connect, share and learn.”