Helping Teachers TeachApril 01, 2016
Who teaches the teachers? At the Third Annual conference for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), experts took on part of the task. The primary teachers of teachers, however, were those actively doing it themselves: AUBG instructors.
Over two hundred teachers of English from Bulgarian high schools attended the conference organized by the Admissions Office and held on the AUBG campus from March 24-25. Attendees learned how to improve their teaching methods and make their classes innovative.
The conference tagline, “One Teacher, Many Faces” captured the varied roles teachers play: educators, motivators, assertive communicators, and emotionally intelligent beings.
Two representatives from the Bulgarian Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence taught about emotional intelligence. Polly Fistolera spoke about emotional intelligence and assertive communication, using some of her own clients as examples. Dimka Radeva lectured about how to motivate students. Following her talk, teachers discussed ethics in grading policies and the educational system they work under.
Boryana Emery, an instructor at the English Language Institute (ELI), told the teachers how to make effective use of props in teaching grammatical rules. Using examples from fifteen years of teaching, she explained how an understanding of grammatical structures aids students.
Sabina Wien, a professor at the department of Arts, Languages, and Literature at AUBG, led a brainstorming discussion on innovative methods of teaching. Teachers shared various ways of helping their students: English language plays, pictures, and even Facebook groups. Attendees left with a list of innovative methods they could use in their classrooms.
“I want this to be a friendship,” Boriana Shalyavska, Director of the AUBG Admissions Office told the teachers. “You are the ones that set the tone; you are the ones who give them wings to fly. Here, we can just provide the means to their future, so they can have a very nice road path in front of them, when they fly away from here afterwards.”
Maria Nalbanska, an eleventh and twelfth grade English teacher from Sofia, especially enjoyed Fistolera’s presentation and the campus tour led by the Assistant Director of the Admissions Office Anatoli Chernii.
Teachers also had a chance to see the performance of AUBG Musical “Catch Me If You Can” and to learn more about AUBG with the help of the admissions team.
Story by Diana Elagina
Photography by Dimatar Bratovanov and Diana Elagina