I generally have a habit of pushing myself to extremes with big new projects. Often I am driven by idealism and the need to see done that which I believe should be done.
Over the years, I have had numerous conversations with teachers, especially college and university teachers, who were dissatisfied with teachers’ conferences. The complaints were generally that most conferences were geared towards LINC teachers and were not useful to the EAP context. I have also heard a lot teachers come out of conference workshops saying that they knew more about the topic than the presenter.
So the existing conference offerings annoyed me. It would make sense that instructors in contexts other than LINC should have the opportunity for some useful input, and it would also make sense that the considerable knowledge and experience of conference goers be acknowledged and folded into the conference itself. So that is when I started dreaming of having an alternative Conference…. hence was born English Central’s Anti-Conference Conference.
I generally do not walk around filled with pride. However, on November 20th, I was so proud that the eyes got a little misty. We ran our conference and it was, from the feedback we have received from participants, a resounding success. We had great input thanks to our guest speakers, Joan McCormack, Adrian Underhill and Susan Barduhn. The riskiest part of the conference was the Open Space Technology session, as it is very new to our context. However, this session was crucial to the mission of making the conference more participant-driven. I was relieved and thrilled not only that it worked, but also that most participants wanted the session to last longer (we will tweak this session for the next time… the important lesson this time is that it works).
Thank you to the almost 100 people who had enough faith in us to attend our first conference and for helping to make my dream a reality. And thank you to Seneca College and Garnet Education for their support. We will definitely do this again.
Don’t forget that you can see a lot of recordings from the conference on another page of our website.
Posted by Nicole