How many times have you pondered whether to do or not to do something? For minutes, days, even weeks… Your life is kept in limbo because you cannot make up your mind… I was at this crossroads last December, with my index finger hovering over the ‘enter’ key of my laptop. Send it or not to send it? Well, since the omnipresent ‘NO’ was a guaranteed answer, I gathered courage and let it go – SEND! And a new story began, because ‘NO’ was NOT the answer this time.
Entering an online competition is an adrenalin rush in itself. It is more daring and nerve racking than actually winning it, since you have no idea who the contestants are or the odds against or for you. The anticipation while waiting for the result could be compared to that moment when you close your eyes before a first kiss – you know something will happen, but will it be any good?
I first heard of the British Council Roving Reporter competition through Valeria França, the Head of Teacher Training at the Cultura Inglesa Rio. It challenged EFL teachers to write an article describing their experience in an EFL event promising to award the best 4 with a tempting trip to attend IATEFL in Brighton in 2011. All expenses paid for. Hmmmm…I’d been to a few conferences before, none as big as the IATEFL though, being the ABCI 2010 the cherry on the cake. I left the Windsor Hotel in Rio so worked up that I wanted to go, go, go, the more conferences the better. The teacher in me was crying for help, after almost 5 years of classroom deprivation. I succumbed. I wrote. I sent it…And I won!
Now, a new story, because the ‘NO’ bit the dust and the ‘YES’ came in all its glory, bringing with it a thousand questions that will hang in the air until April. An interminable queue of question words fills my mind and interrogation marks are high in the market today. What will I do? Where will I stay?Who will I meet? I guess the answers are indeed everything, everywhere, everyone. An international event like the IATEFL is bound to beat all your expectations and score big in terms of speakers, tendencies, public, technology and culture. Well, this is what I look forward to: the minds at such events work so frantically you can almost hear them speaking for themselves, it’s as if people actually connect with each other, weaving a network of ideas that keeps them beating in unison. The atmosphere is contagious, and learning fills the air, which in turn becomes teaching when people go home. It is then that all the teaching is transformed into magic in the classrooms around the world.
And I’ll be there, helping these fortunate teachers spread their magic around the world being a Roving Reporter, because this time ‘NO’ was NOT the answer.