Presenting at conferences – my experience
I used to think that presenting at conferences was for big names in ELT or for very academically inclined teachers. I am so glad that my colleague and friend CeAnn Myers disabused me of this notion when she offered to guide me through the process of applying to participate in a conference as well as co-present at one. After working together on our proposal and sending out a few applications, we were accepted to present at the 36th annual TESOL Greece convention where we talked about PBI (project-based instruction) by showcasing a Projects Class CeAnn designed and we both taught at a preparation program at a private university in Turkey.
Conferences are great for your career (and your mood) for a number of reasons. First, there is the obvious benefit of learning new things and walking away armed with new ideas and tools. Secondly, it’s an excellent opportunity to network and meet new friends, potential employers and future research partners. Finally, you get to go to a new place! Even if it’s only for a few days and even if the conference schedule if super full, you can always get away during lunch or arrive a bit early to do a bit of sightseeing. Some conference will include some sort of sightseeing element – for example,at the last TESOL Greece conference we attended, the conference participants were taken on a guided tour of the Athens Archaeological museum and it was the highlight of our trip!