The 2019 Academic Management and Trainers Conference took place in Greenwich, London, from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th January, where topics like change management, keeping learners’ attention, and professional development evaluation were discussed.
The conference opened on Thursday morning with a workshop from Loraine Kennedy on how to have difficult conversations in the workplace. Participants collaborated and talked through familiar challenging situations and offered advice on how to take some of the strain and stress out of these kinds of tough conversations.
"It’s January, it’s the winter in London, and yet it’s been a really energising, wonderful experience," said Loraine.
"It’s an amazing conference! The sense of the IH family comes across really strongly. People said to me you’ll have an easy time working with this crowd because they are keen learners and they really participate and that’s absolutely true."
The rest of Thursday included sessions from Monica Green, Executive Director of IHWO, on how to predict how busy your school will be in the future; a Macmillan Education sponsored plenary from Katie Harris on ‘What learning 5 languages has taught me about ELT’; and an introduction about LanguageCert from Janet Golding, Academic Support Consultant.
Thursday evening’s Welcome Drinks were sponsored by LanguageCert and took place at the Old Brewery, an historic pub set in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College. Shortly before the drinks, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between IHWO and LanguageCert. This global partnership will give IH schools the opportunity to offer their students a range of innovative and flexible exams. (More information available about this soon!)
Friday 11th was a busy day with two tracks of sessions from many brilliant IH school speakers from around the network. Various interesting and diverse themes were discussed, from safe spaces in schools, to helping new teachers, to teaching older learners. More niche topics also featured, like using the Delta PDA assignment as a CPD tool and the role of the trainer in CELTA observations.
The last day of the AMT on Saturday 12th involved five fantastic external speakers, delivering longer sessions on some important subjects including change management, Assessment for Learning, and supporting bottom-up teacher development. Thank you to Ania Kolbuszewska, Sarah Mercer, Gordon Stobart (sponsored by OUP), Chris Farrell and Silvana Richardson for taking the time to deliver their informative sessions.
A special thank you also to our partners guard.me and to our sponsors and exhibitors over the three days: LanguageCert, Macmillan Education, BEBC, Delta Publishing, Trinity, Oxford University Press, Cambridge Assessment English, and Cambridge University Press.
Lucy Horsefield, COO of IHWO, said, “It is always fantastic to start the year with this conference. The enthusiasm and spirit of collaboration and mutual support that IH DOSes and Trainers bring to the event is a joy to see.
“We were delighted with our plenary speakers and many of the IH delegates also delivered talks and workshops. The professionalism and dedication of International House academic managers and teacher trainers is well known within our industry and this conference is a wonderful celebration of that.”
"It’s just such a great opportunity to be fed inspiration and to really get to know our colleagues from around the network on a human level, which makes such a difference," said Chloé Pakeman-Schiavone, Director of Studies at IH Pescara.
Sam Whiteley, Director of Educational Services at IH Barcelona, added, "It was a great conference and I really got a lot out of it. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone working in an IH school. I hope to be able to come back next year."
The event finished on Saturday evening with the 7th Annual IH AMT Conference Quiz Night and Dinner at the Trafalgar Tavern, right on the banks of the River Thames overlooking Canary Wharf. We rounded off the conference in style with a three-course meal, an ‘Only Connect’ style quiz, and a little bit of dancing!
That’s it from the AMT Conference 2019! You can relive the event with us through our photo gallery below and our conference video.
See you in January 2020!