Looking back and looking forward – drawing inspiration from the experts!

The new academic year is about to start for many teachers and with it comes new adventures and new challenges.  For example, getting your timetable and classes for the new term means sometimes having to teach a level or age group that you may be less familiar with. Time to enrol on a course, do some reading or watch some online sessions or webinars to inspire you.

At last year’s IHWO YL Conference there were many talks that provide some inspiration for the challenges ahead.  Here are just some of the many that you may find useful to get the year off to a good start:

Katherine Bilsborough’s wonderful session on Using images to activate YLs’ curiosity and creativity included many practical ideas that can be used with a variety of classes and age groups. Simple ideas like creating a bank of your own images in your school to share is something that stuck with me, and I would like to try. Watch the talk here >>

Maria Samsel spoke about The importance of dyslexia awareness in primary EFL. This is a recurring area of interest on IHWO's IHOCYLT course. All YL teachers have to deal with SEN at some point and often feel unprepared for the challenges that come with this. Maria’s session provided useful and practical ideas that can easily be adapted for the ELT classroom as well as providing some insight into dealing with differentiation in our classes. Watch the talk here >>

The last year and a half has made us all hungry for ideas that can be used when teaching online and using technology. Lucie Cotterill’s Tech it for the team- Collaborative activities for the online classroom was full of very practical ideas to encourage teens to collaborate using a variety of tech tools. Many of these great suggestions could be used to inspire all YL teachers in your teacher induction days this year. Watch the talk here >>

Making lessons memorable and manageable is something we all strive to do. Andrea Littlewood’s Inspiration seeking: taking the cue from our YLs included ideas inspired by YLs’ comments and behaviour.  Lots of creative ideas here to help engage our YLs and to help with routines: another major challenge for teachers. Another challenge for teachers new to YL teaching and a popular discussion on any YL course. Watch the talk here >>

Starting something new is exciting and hopefully we have all managed to have a relaxing holiday to recharge batteries, but the last year has brought its own set of challenges and stresses at times. Tammy Gregerson’s Respite from the Chaos: A Conversation about Language Teachers’ Self-care provided useful strategies for coping and activities to foster well-being for both learners and teachers. Watch the talk here >>

All these and the many other talks touch on aspects that are also core themes on the IH Online Course in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers​ such as: classroom management; practice activities and materials; focusing on the learner (and teacher), all essential areas for new and experienced teachers of YLs.  

Here’s to learning new things and finding more inspiration the months to come!