A couple of weeks ago the IH community of DOSes and Teacher Trainers from around the world met in Greenwich for the annual IH AMT Conference. Ross and Lewis from the newly affiliated IH school in Portsmouth share their first experience at this event.
First impressions – it was BRILLIANT! It was absolutely great to meet so many academic managers and trainers from all over the world, to share ideas, and to be reassured that we all go through the same trials and tribulations in our jobs!
For both of us, joining IH was a kind of homecoming – before joining LSI Portsmouth in 2005, Ross had worked for a year at IH Sagasta, and then 4 years at IH San Sebastian, and Lewis started his teaching career at IH Cordoba in 1998, and worked for four other IH schools afterwards, so to rejoin the family was wonderful.
I don’t think either of us have ever been to a conference where so much knowledge and expertise was on display. The opening session, by Maureen McGarvey, was superb, and it was followed up by a whole range of interesting presentations on different topics. Personal highlights were the workshop on fun by Lucie Cotterill, and a really interesting take on teacher development by Sandy Millin – but they were all great. So many thought provoking, practical ideas, many of which we will definitely act upon.
Another highlight of the conference was the chats in the breaks, and over drinks. Having worked in an independent school for so many years, we have previously had less contact with other academic managers and trainers, so it was really interesting to get to meet others doing the same jobs as us, and to talk about our experiences. We’d love to get students coming to IH Portsmouth from other IH schools around the world, so it was interesting to find out how the whole Study Abroad process works. And every summer, we find ourselves short of quality teachers, so we tried to spread the word – if schools have any teachers looking for summer work near the sea in a good school, we’re keen to employ you!
Sadly, we couldn’t stay for the Saturday, but even so, we came away enthused, excited, and full of ideas. Being part of such an excellent organisation, with the emphasis on teacher development and high standards of management, is such a great step, and next year we’ll be back for the whole conference!