APrIR Newsletters: 2016 and back 5/13 Dec 2013 - Page 4

4 Many of our members attended the Conference either as speakers or delegates. We asked them to share their impressions on the event, but what with our hectic lives most found it impossible to contribute. We are thus doubly grateful to Rita Zeinstejer, who says Particularly concerned as I am about what is to me one of the crucial challenges in today’s education –motivating learners--, I was struck by Pam Wright’s session on School Leadership for Success. Her burning enthusiasm to share the bottom line of her talk “a school almost never exceeds the quality of its leadership” was highly contagious, proving once again that teachers’ zest can spur their students into action and enjoyment. But successful school leaders will hoist the quality of education within their realm provided they can adapt to current educational thinking. and to Florencia Viale, who submitted the full report which was one of the requirements of the APrIR Scholarship. The Fabulous Feeling of Faaping by Florencia Viale One cannot possible talk about conferencing without quoting David Lodge and his accurate depiction of attitudes and behaviours of teachers worldwide under these circumstances: “The modern conference resembles the pilgrimage of medieval Christendom in that it allows the participants to indulge themselves in all the pleasures and diversions of travel while appearing to be austerily bent on self-improvement. […] But with this excuse you journey to new and interesting places, meet new and interesting people, and form new and interesting relationships with them […] and yet, at the end of it all, return home with an enhanced reputation for seriousness of mind. Today´s conferees have an additional advantage over the pilgrims of old in that their expenses are paid, or at least subsided subsidized, by the institution to which they belong…” (Lodge, Small World, 1984) This year the “pilgrimage” proved much more convenient for those EFL teachers who eagerly and readily get on the road in their quest for professional development and - why not – the opportunity to strengthen bonds. Puerto Madero glowed over the three days during which the conference took place, and the inspiring view that we could all get from the rooms where the different presentations were held did nothing but inspire us in turn to grasp other colleagues’ experiences with all our senses as well as revisit our own through different spectacles. It was a matter of choosing routes that would invariably lead to the very roots of our teaching practices and lives. I had the opportunity to hear several presenters praising the role of cultural awareness as “an eye-opening experience.” The Independent [1] referred to London as the “new European melting pot” arguing that it “has always been a cosmopolitan city, home to wave after wave of immigrants who in time have become Londoners, providing the mix that arguably makes London the most cosmopolitan city in the world.” Borrowing the metaphor,