Monday, 28 October 2013

#TESL 2013 Hooray!!!

Monday morning after the conference, on the way to work, I am still having that very warm and pleasant feeling that I brought home from TESL Ontario 2013. It's been my first time to present at this conference. Needless to say, I was very nervous. All sorts of feelings overwhelmed me right before my first workshop. What if my ideas are not good or useful enough? Out of nowhere, I was terrified with the idea that I was about to expose all my practice, make confessions and reveal my little secrets to people I did not know.

I had to wake up at 4 a. m. to get to the Allstream Centre in advance to set up the room. When I arrived, an hour before my presentation, a teacher had already been sitting in the room. I was lucky to have her there. We talked and I realized that there was nothing to worry about, that she was someone just like me: passionate about her students, trying to learn more to make a difference. Then, more teachers joined us. Finally, the room was full and we began at 9 sharp.

It went well. I could feel the involvement of the audience. They wanted to ask questions, share their ideas, and they were genuinely engaged. While distributing the materials I realized that Nathan Hall (if you do not know who he is, check him out ASAP), one of my connected friends, came to support me at the workshop. I did not know then that he was also streaming my presentation live on Twitter. That was very cool!!!

The only drawback was the length of my presentation (only one hour long). I knew it wasn't enough. Teachers had questions, they wanted to interact, but I couldn't stay any minute longer as I had to go to my second computer lab workshop. I was very pleased to see familiar faces during my second presentation. I couldn't possibly wished for more. I had a feeling that it was the second part of my morning workshop. I'll have to confess that although the second workshop went well as well, it was much harder to manage. I finished it with the feeling that I could have done better. The difficulty was that the audience ( about 50 people) were sitting at individual laptops. I could not see their faces and understand if what I was talking about clicked with them. Compared to the first presentation, I couldn't feel the connection with the audience. A friend also came to my second presentation (thank you very much, Carolyn). I asked her for the feedback after the workshop, and she said that I had to be careful while giving the instructions as not all the teachers were able to follow me. I'll have to consider this in the future.

Needless to say, I was not able to tell everything that I wanted. Therefore, I promised to make my presentations available for teachers to review what we talked about and check out even more things.

(Please email me if you attended the workshop and would like to access the detailed notes for both of my presentations).

TESL Ontario rocked this year for me. I saw some old friends, met connected friends from the online teaching community, and, hopefully, made new ones.


You are invited! T4T2017