Under the banner of the ELTDP project, the 4th March 2015 saw 350 participants gather for the British Council ELTDPs Symposium in Kuching. 

This was a symposium where teachers from the project presented and shared their ideas, experiences and learning from the project so far. It was a key opportunity for the presenters to develop professionally, to learn from each other and to connect with a network of like-minded teachers.

Teachers’ selfies had been appearing across social media and had even made it into the local press, after they shared what “It” is that keeps them going in their teaching careers.  By the time the opening ceremony had started and the 350 participants were settled in, the excitement and “buzz in the air” described by Gavin Anderson, Director of British Council Malaysia, was evident. It was a very hectic and full programme over 3 days, attended by more than 150 teachers from Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan along with their mentors, head teachers, local education staff and Ministry of Education officials.

The mornings started with international keynote speakers Anji  Maldarez , Jamie Keddie and Jim Scrivner, followed by around 90 smaller workshops and presentations that continued for the rest of the symposium. The fun continued into the evenings with a gala dinner, traditional dancing and a wonderful sunset boat cruise. 

The workshops and presentations were very varied but all showcased the theme of “Sustaining Professional Growth”.  For many of the teachers who presented, this was the first time sharing their experiences and practices with their colleagues. The creative showcases allowed a more informal time to discuss and look at other teachers’ ideas, resources and have the opportunity to meet the illustrators of the two storybooks that were created by a Rungus community in Kudat.

It was all over far too quickly and at the closing ceremony two teachers spoke enthusiastically about the inspiring, amazing time they had enjoyed. There were many new friends made; sharing of ideas; support networks made; exchanges of emails and fond farewells and promises of “Keeping it Going” into the future.