During the last 6 years of my career I have moved from middle
management to part time classroom teacher via 2 pregnancies and a fairly big move from Sheffield to the Isle of Man. Needless to say I have felt a little bit out of the educational loop at times. Last year I had had a particularly bad time at work and was really beginning to wonder whether I was in the right job when one Friday I read a very short article in the TES about tweechers and I decided to take the plunge and join Twitter. As luck would have it, one of the very first people I followed was the amazing @joedale (if you don’t follow him do so straight away) Joe is the godfather of the #mfltwitterati and through his list of MFL twitterers I was put in touch with some truly amazing and inspirational MFL teachers.
Very quickly I created my own network of teachers from across the curriculum and it started to transform my teaching. I loved the new world that I had entered into and it was having a huge effect in the classroom. I am sad to say that I had become very staid in my teaching ways and as a creative person I knew that this was one of the reasons why I had become so unhappy in my job. Twitter and the #mfltwitterati helped me to re-ignite my creativity and I started to return to the real me.
However, the problem now was that I had had a bite of the cherry and I wanted more. I loved being in charge of my own CPD, I am like most teachers a control freak, and I was on the look out for an MFL conference to attend so that I could continue on my journey. Then, lo and behold suddenly the #mfltwiterati were full of #ililc3 chat and it became apparent that this was the conference for me and it did not disappoint.
I know it has been said lots of times in lots of blogs that #ililc3 is the friendliest most relaxed conference that you could wish to attend but it’s true. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, there was no cliquiness it was just like being in the best, and most hilarious, staff room in the country! I soon realised that not only did I like and respect these people in the twittersphere I also liked them in real life too – phew!
There were many highlights for me this weekend and I’ll blog about them some more in greater detail but the basic list looks something like this;
@bains_1 fabulous presentation on raising motivation in the classroom – it was like she had read my mind when she said “why do we teach the items in a pencil case in French?” A question I ask myself every year. Her ideas were truly inspirational and I cannot wait to get stuck into doing some more interesting topics with KS3!
I hate ppt but have never really found a better alternative to it until I went to @msmfl’s presentation on using prezi.com – no more boring power points for me…
How do you improve listening skills especially in the run up to GCSE’s? Previously I have never really managed to answer this question so this year in an attempt to rectify this I have created my own website and put links on it to YouTube videos in the foreign language then, using google forms, I have created questions for my students to answer online. This is all fine, but sometimes I just wish I could subtitle some of the more difficult videos in French to help my students. Worry no more! Thanks to @langnut’s great introduction to subtitling I now know how to subtitle my own videos using dotsub.com and I can also subtitle YouTube videos using amara.org – happy days!
During the weekend I also attended workshops on blogging, using images,enhancing target language and QR codes not to mention the Saturday night show and tell but if I wrote about them all now this blog post would be ridiculously long.
All that remains to be said for now is THANK YOU to the amazing #mfltwitterati as I said in a tweet on Sunday you made me laugh til my sides hurt and you provided me with so many ideas that my brain almost exploded.