This is my last report as a Hornby Scholar since my course is now officially over. 30th September was the last day of my journey in the Masters in Education – ELT Trainer Development which I started a year ago at the University College Plymouth St Mark and St John (Marjon) thanks to the scholarship granted by the Hornby Trust and the British Council.
Perhaps I can say that was the best year of my life –having the opportunity to study in the UK, meet other people from all over the world and devote all my time to my studies was a real privilege.
It is always nice to look back at the things we have done and I’d like to share with you what I think were the highlights of my Hornby Scholarship year.
- Being chosen: being selected to be a Hornby Scholar is not an easy thing to be achieved, but I imagine that my engagement with the Community and with Teachers Associations have helped me with it, so perhaps the lesson I take from this is that the time we devote to others in our profession one day will help us somehow. Heartfelt thanks to the friends and colleagues who supported my application.
- My tutor: Marjon is the smallest of all universities which take part in the programme, however, it was the only one with a Masters in Teacher Training Degree and this was the thing that attracted me to Plymouth. I do believe I could not have made a better choice because I found here an extremely friendly and intellectually stimulating environment. Moreover, I was really lucky to have Professor Tony Wright as my tutor, for is one of the most knowledgeable, approachable and competent teachers I have ever met. He guided us with expertise and care throughout the process and if I have been able to produce as much as I did it was because of his help and guidance.
- The Oxford Seminar: marvelous days and the opportunity to meet other scholars and British Council staff responsible for the Hornby programme. For me, Oxford will be always bound to the memories of our Hornby seminar there.
- The IATEFL Conference in Cardiff: it goes without saying that if was just fantastic to be there and even if preparing the presentation demanded from all of us time, effort and caused a bit of stress, the result certainly paid off. Thanks to Rod Bolitho for his patience and support along the process.
- My dissertation: usually people think of the dissertation as ‘the last thing you have to do to get your degree.’ For me, it was perhaps one of the most enjoyable things I have ever written because I really believed in it and Tony gave me space and confidence to spread my wings writing it.
Now it is time to say goodbye and this is always sad. My colleagues are all already back to their countries and teaching contexts. For me, my context is the cyberspace, which means that I hope to be back more frequently here in the Community and other British Council online spaces. It is also time to start sharing with teachers in Brazil a little bit of what I have learnt here.
Thanks BC Brazil! Thanks Ash!