Active participation encouraged – on organizing events

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Braz-Tesol BH Chapter, “The 5 Cs in the 21st Century”. Flawlessly organized by Bia Hedegaard and her amazing team, this was the first event I went to after being involved in the organization of “BrELT on The Road”. One of the plenaries featured the Assessment Diva, Natália Guerreiro. She talked about what’s holding us back in terms of teacher development, and it resonated a lot with experiences I have had lately.

Among other things, Natália mentioned how attending events can help us grow as professionals and connect with like-minded individuals. While I wholeheartedly agree that going to events is essential and beneficial to anyone, I’d also like to recommend actively participating in the planning of events as yet another way for us to keep developing as teachers.

Truth be told, this is not my first time being involved in arranging events. Previously, I have helped organize some online events for BrELT, and assisted in setting up a couple of teachers’ seminars at a school where I used to work. But this time it was completely different. Participating in organizing the first BrELT on The Road arrangement required skills that I did not have at that time, but that I needed to acquire very quickly. After all, the event was a dream come true, not only to us moderators but to a community consisting of 16k+ people: it simply had to be perfect. I am proud to say that so far, 90.7% of the attendees have rated their overall experience as “excellent,” and 9.3% regard it as “good”. I believe that we managed to deliver what we had promised, what people expected, and maybe even a little bit more than that.

It was a team effort to put BrELT on The Road, and to be part of the team in charge gave me a fascinating glimpse of what happens ‘behind the scenes.’ Furthermore, this experience increased my awareness and appreciation of the hard work and collaboration it takes to actually make things happen. With Bruno Andrade, I learned the importance of sometimes being more assertive and how strong leadership can make all the difference. Claire Venables reminded me that optimism and smart goals are the (only) way to go. Eduardo de Freitas attention to details showed me that so-called small things do count. Barbara Furtado, Fernanda Machado and Priscila Bordon, it is such an honor and pleasure to have you as BrELT moderators – the hard work, dedication, and passion you put into this conference was truly otherworldly.

Last, but not least, I’d like to highlight the importance of sponsors. It is not possible to host any face-to-face event – and certainly not one as big as BrELT on The Road – without the backing and support of amazing institutions that genuinely care about and believe in teacher development. I cannot thank our sponsors enough. From now on, I will make sure to always visit sponsors’ stands, be even more attentive to their contributions, and buy something whenever possible.

I can honestly, and with a certain sense of pride and gratefulness, say that I wholeheartedly recommend each and every teacher to attend the events available, whether they be big or small, as well as getting involved in them. These experiences will change your life.

Attendees

Proud BrELT moderators

Proud BrELT moderators

Thiago Veigga

T. Veigga is a teacher, teacher trainer and materials designer based in Rio. He holds a post-graduate degree in Media-Education (PUC-Rio) and has worked in the ELT industry for over 14 years. His interests include teacher education, entrepreneurship and pronunciation instruction. He blogs at https://tveigga.wordpress.com and hosts the web show ELT TV.

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