"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching."
Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene II.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Reflecting on NZATE Conference, 2015: Day 1

I attended my first NZATE conference in 2001, the year before I decided to chuck in my job as a policy analyst and go to teachers' college. It was an experiment: I figured that if I could spend three days with a bunch of English teachers and enjoy it, then that was probably a good test of whether or not I would enjoy teaching English. I still think it was quite a good test, although I am probably a biased sample, having been brought up by two English teachers. (Yes, I did also go and hang out with some students!)

Today, 14 years later, I presented at NZATE conference for the first time ever, talking about teaching Shakespeare, the most fun part of my job. The title of the workshop (Shakespeare: Feel the fear and do it anyway!) refers to both students and teachers, as sometimes teachers too are a bit diffident about tackling Shakespeare, particularly with reluctant students. I don't claim to be any kind of expert, but I LOVE Shakespeare and decided to share some of the things I do in the hopes that others might pick up something that is worth trying.

I was a bit nervous, but I enjoyed running the workshop and hopefully the attendees got something from it. Presenting was itself a case of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

A great first day, and having presented my workshop today I can relax and enjoy the rest of the conference. I'll post my workshop presentation tomorrow, it has been temporarily 'unshared' while the conference people organise the online resources.

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