Chris Bain, Senior Teacher at IH Bielsko-Biała, spoke for International House at the recent P.A.R.K Conference in Brno, Czech Republic. Here, he tells us more about his presentation experience to an audience of over 300 people.
“I’ve been an English teacher since 2011, and for half of those eight years I’ve been lucky enough to work for International House schools in various cities in Central Europe. One of the things I love most about IH is their commitment to teacher development and student achievement, as exemplified by the large number of conferences IH affiliated schools around the world organise on a yearly basis. This past year alone, I’ve attended excellent conferences in Prague, Budapest and Torun.
On April 13th, I attended my first ever non-IH conference, organised by the P.A.R.K language school in Brno, Czech Republic. With more than 300 attendees, it was a very large conference and I was delighted to share my ideas on promoting autonomy and student-centredness in the classroom with a wide variety of teachers from both language schools and state schools. This was not only a fantastic opportunity to meet teachers operating out with the IH network, but also interact with teachers employed in the public sector, who are facing the same challenges as language school teachers in the classroom: motivating, inspiring and developing their students.
Through the ‘Speak for IH’ scheme, I was able to travel to Brno and spend the weekend not only talking about how great IH is, but also learning about how other organisations work, getting new ideas which will hopefully benefit my own school and the wider IH organisation. This scheme allows for the great opportunity to branch outside the traditional IH ‘safety net’ of affiliate school conferences and share best practice with teachers from a wide range of educational settings, furthering the goals IH has set for itself and inspiring fresh new ideas among everyone involved."