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Plenary Speaker Enyedi Ágnes

 

Plenary Speaker Ágnes Enyedi

Agnes Enyedi became a teacher trainer after 15 years of teaching English and being a mentor for beginner teachers in public education. As a staff member at various teacher education programmes at the Eötvös University of Budapest, her professional interest included supporting beginning teachers, mentor training and, more recently, educational leadership and professional burnout.  

 

As a self-employed training consultant, she has worked in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East with the British Council, Via Lingua and Oxford Teachers Academy. She is an avid conference-goer and has attended and presented at conferences in some 20 countries. As a founding member and ex-president of IATEFL Hungary she is proud to have participated in almost all of its conferences so far.

When she does not teach, she tries to learn something new; she is a trained mediator and also enjoys participating in various online courses ranging from social psychology through painting to learning new languages. 

We asked our plenary speakers seven questions. Here are Ági's answers.

1.        What are you working on right now?

I’m trying to work on myself – I am a freelance teacher and trainer now and so my own boss. I’m learning new things about how to be a good boss, how to manage my time and how to find new things to open up my professional spectrum.

2.        What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Hmm… Hard to think of one specific thing. But if I really had to choose one, it would be something I heard from Caroline Bodóczky. I can’t give it away now, I’m planning to include it in my plenary. So you need to come to my talk to hear it.

3.        What is the biggest challenge for you at the moment professionally?

Basically everything. So many things changed in my professional life in the last few years and I’m just learning my new ways. I’ve always enjoyed doing things off the beaten track and linking things that do not normally combine. At the moment, I’m trying to figure out how to put all these together to enrich what I’m doing. This involves linking school subjects, going back to my interests in science, learning about leadership and management, putting the human aspect of education into focus by relying on the findings of some helping professions, re-defining the role of a teacher, and such things.

4.        What do you consider to be the most urgent need in education today?

I feel that education has become an industry where growing up is institutionalised, and where a lot of things happen to justify the existence of the industry itself, to prove that we are doing things right, according to plans. And we take ourselves so immensely seriously that we forget to see the beautiful, precious and funny moments of this “growing up business”, we forget to enjoy what we do and forget to make the time of education a pleasure for the students. I think this would be important to re-discover the kind of school where teachers and students alike enjoy to be. For this we need to acknowledge that there is no single way of being a good teacher (or a good student), and sometimes we need to take it with a pinch of salt what we ourselves say.

5.        What does it mean for you to live in the present? (How do you interpret the "POWER OF NOW"?)

Imagine you want to get to the top of the mountain and you know it’s steep and you’re prepared for some hard climbing. And when you climb up, you never look around to enjoy the view or to notice a green bug, just climb and climb having the peak in front of you as your goal. Then you get to the top but you’re so exhausted that you can’t even enjoy being there. So what’s the point?

There is a school in Budapest where the founding document contains a passage saying that despite the general belief that students prepare for life (with a capital L) during their studies, this particular school believes that their students actually live while they are there. I think this is a pretty cool attitude.

But I also believe the 27th IATEFL Hungary conference will address this issue in detail and it’s important that all the participants should phrase their own answers to it.

6.        What sources do you use to recharge your energy?

I like to spend time with inspiring people who do that for me. I’m lucky to know quite a few. If I cannot find them in person, I listen to such people’s talks on the internet. TED talks are still a wonderful source for that but I often watch videos that my friends recommend to me. I have 3-4 personal favourites at the moment that I tend to watch every day for a while. Like a pill that you take 3 times a day, after meals…

7.        What’s on your desk now?

A huge mess. But I will clear my desk literally and figuratively as well during the summer. I gave myself a deadline and I mean to be a strict boss in this.

 

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