By Shaun Wilden
> One of the things that I love about technology is how we can use it to bring the network together. With over 160 schools, it can be easy at times for a teacher to forget they are part of larger network and that, not only do they have colleagues in their staffroom, but also in staffrooms in 52 other countries.
Live online sessions (which is what we call webinars) give us the chance to share activities across the network. By connecting IH staff across the world, webinars show that whether you are in Almaty or Xian, teachers face similar class types, similar goals and have similar issues to discuss.
In March and April this year, we held IHWO’s ‘Wellbeing Season’ – a series of webinars
addressing such issues as mindfulness and the mental health of teachers. The general health of teachers is something that has rightly gained a lot of attention of late. From overwork, to the anxiety of a new class, or the stress of living abroad, many factors can affect the mental wellbeing of teachers. To paraphrase Sarah Mercer, one of the speakers in the season, looking after ourselves is the first step to good teaching.
The season started with a webinar in early March presented by Phil Longwell, a teacher whose mental health has affected both his life and career. In it, he not only openly talked about the issues he has faced but also gave us an insight into the research he conducted by surveying other teachers. The second session was presented by Sarah Mercer, who focused on the professional wellbeing of teachers and explored the steps we can take to ensure we are in the best possible frame of mind to teach to the best of our abilities. The final two sessions came from Ushapa Fortescue who, in her first session, introduced us to some simple techniques to help us remain positive and prepare ourselves for our lessons through breathing and centering exercises. Her second session talked about how suitable meditation techniques can be brought into the classroom and bring benefits to learners. She also explored several practical meditation activities that teachers can use for students of all ages
If you did miss the earlier sessions then, as IH teachers, you can log into the affiliate area and watch the recordings.
A month after the Wellbeing Season sessons, we held our annual IH Teacher Online Conference. Friday 18th May was the tenth edition of this fun but informative event. The conference is slightly less formal than some of our other events, mainly because of the fast-paced nature of the talks. Traditionally, a speaker is given ten minutes to present an idea or activity so any given hour has four or five talks. This year, we had 28 informative sessions on a vast array of interesting topics.
On the same day we run the IH Online Modern Language Conference. This year, we had talks in Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. This really shows and reflects the diversity of language teaching within International House.
If you’d like to view the 2018 talks, please visit the following links:
IH Teacher Online Conference: http://bit.ly/IHTOC18
IH Online Modern Language Conference: http://bit.ly/IHOMLC18
Previously, we have curated all the talks into one site so you want to see some of the previous years’ then click on the links below:
On each of the links from previous years, there is a plethora of the talks and the accompanying slides and any handouts. In fact, a smorgasbord of delights that highlight another wonderful use of technology – on demand CPD. So be it live or through a recording, don’t forgot to make full use of the IH live online sessions.
See you online,
- Special interest column: Developing Teachers
- IHWO News by Lucy Horsefield, Chief Operating Officer, IHWO
- Book Review: How to Write and Deliver Talks, Lewis Lansford – by Hall Houston
- All Will Be Well, and All Manner of Things Will Be Well – by Maureen Mcgarvey
- The 2012 Young Learners’ Conference in Prague, Czech Republic