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TES and the JA Teachers Conference

JA International Teachers' Conference 2015 took place in Riga (Latvia) on March 30-31 during the International Student Company Festival 2015. 59 student companies from 11 countries partecipated in the event together with 76 teachers. This year's conference offered a variety of topics and workshops, high-energy teambuilding, networking activities and debates about the following topic: Challenges for Business Education: Global Thinking and Technological Approach

JA-YE Europe partecipated in the event:

  • Providing the teachers with details about European initatives for educators, including The Entrepreneurial School (TES) and its Virtual Guide.
  • Having an info-point during the trade fair where teachers and educators had the opportunity to ask questions.

Have a look at the presentation HERE

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JA International Teachers' Conference 2015 was a good occasion to gather some interviews about the event and TES with teachers from Latvia and other countires

Solvita Lauzeja (Latvia)

I am an economics teacher from class 2 to class 11. I think events like these are really important not only to connect with other teachers but also to provide young people, even in primary school, with entrepreneurial skills […]. 

[…] I have been in other teachers’ conferences in the past and I think that it is a good way to meet and network with other people as well as to understand what needs to be done better and to compare what your country is doing with what others are doing. It also helps you develop as a teacher. 

The TES Virtual Guide is an useful tool, even if we might need to translate it for Latvian teachers. I am already using the Guide and I will encourage other colleagues to use it. 

Fredrik Norma (Sweden)

This is my fourth year of teaching English. I educated as English and religion teacher for high school level. […] Since I love to travel, to meet new people and the fact that we can learn from each other, I think that events like this one are an excellent opportunity to get information about what’s going on. This is my first teachers’ conference and I think it is great that people come from so many places – we had a lecture from Singapore for example, and then we had people who came all the way from Portugal, Spain, Finland and everywhere. I think it is amazing that we have such a good blend of nationalities. 

The topics of the session for teachers conference were really good. The only thing that I thought that could have been added is something that I really like which is the practical experiences, like exactly how other teachers teach entrepreneurship in classroom. […] The questions is always ‘how do you do it?’ That could maybe be one thing to add, like a workshop on practical ideas. […] The networking part of the conference was small but in those types of events you always have the possibility of sitting and talking with other participants.  

The TES Virtual Guide is very promising. If it has the possibility to grow large, it can be a possibility to standardize what is required for this kind of learning by increasing the quality of teaching and also by reducing the differences between countries. […] When I get back home, I am going to have a short lecture for my colleagues and I will tell them about what I have been learning here. I will give them the information about the Guide and I really hope they will embrace it as well. 

Another thing that I thought it is really good in the Guide is the review system where you have teachers that can upload, comment and work with others. […] This also means that you do not have to invent the wheels over and over again, every time you need to develop something. The good thing with this is that you have a database of different kinds of technics and ideas that you can use. I am going to tell everybody about the Virtual Guide! 

Alexander Penny (Turkey)

[…] I have a degree in media studies and I am interested in entrepreneurship, creativity, advertising, etc. That is the reason why I decided to join and to be a supervisor in an after school club for Junior Achievement. It is such a great programme where children can learn about business and entrepreneurship. By helping them understand how business and money works, we are helping them for the future. 

This is my first time a teachers’ conference. I learned a lot and I met new people. My favorite part is the trade fair, I really enjoy it. Looking at what other people have created, talking with the students and seeing how excited they are is really a nice feeling. […] During the teachers conference I learned some interesting things about programs and projects JA-YE Europe is running. 

[…] I will incorporate the Virtual Guide in my practices when I go back to Turkey. It covers many areas; there are a lot of information there. I think it is useful because you have all possible materials and tools in the same place and the review system is a perfect way to share opinions with other teachers. 

Iveta Vabule (Latvia)

I am an economics teacher and I really like the idea of student business companies. I visited many international fairs and I really like the environment. The topics of the teachers’ conference were interesting but I would advise you to also have practical sessions. 

The TES Virtual Guide is an interesting tool to use, for both teachers and students. It’s a great database that helps teachers in the classroom. I also like the idea of being able to share ideas and reviews with other teachers so that they can get support from each other. I will definitely recommend it to my colleagues when I get back.