STAGE IS SET: BMA House
We’re nearly there. The weather in London is soft and fine, my anti-histamines have kicked in without sending me to sleep, and colleagues from around the world are grappling with the transport system even as we speak.
Tonight’s venue is BMA House, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and home to the British Medical Association – insert gag about anyone who has too much to drink being in good hands here.
The building has strong literary associations; a plaque in the garden marks the site of the house where Dickens wrote Great Expectations, and the building faces onto Tavistock Square, where Virginia Woolf lived at number 52.
However, I digress; I need to find some dark socks, and this is no time to go into a Wikipedia tailspin.
I’ve been talking to nominees this week and I’d like to share two conversations that resonated with me before I head off. The first comes from Marisa Constantinides of #ELTchat, a shared online resource for educators that’s in the running for the Innovation in Learner Resources award.
I caught up with Marisa before she left Athens for the ceremony in London, and she said she and her fellow moderators were thrilled by the nomination. ‘Being shortlisted means a lot to us,’ she told me, ‘because we give our free time to motivate, inspire and inform a community of teachers. We want to spread the word that CPD is not all about doing one course after another, it's about sharing, interaction and exchanges of ideas and knowledge.’
This sense of shared enterprise was echoed by Özge Karaoğlu, a member of the team behind Bubble and Pebble, which is up for a Digital Innovation award.
Describing being nominated as a dream come true, Özge said it meant a lot ‘not only as recognition for hard work, but also to highlight the enjoyment a teacher can share with their students. This award is a reminder that there is support for what we do and it represents our community’s recognition of our students’ work.
Hear, hear Marisa and Özge: our work is about relationships and community – with our teaching selves, with our educator colleagues and with our learners.
On that note, it’s time to charge up the Oyster card and sweat it out on the Northern Line. My expectations are great (you didn’t think I’d pass that one up, did you?) and I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to our live online streaming from BMA House, a first for the ELTons and one that emphasises the sense of community tonight's event will celebrate. Best of luck, folks!