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Judit Fehér: Embracing Humility Through Global Challenges and the Art of Dance.

Judit Fehér: Embracing Humility Through Global Challenges and the Art of Dance.

Can you provide a brief overview of your background and expertise?

I come from a nice old Hungarian town, Eger, where I received my first degree in English and Hungarian. Then I moved to Budapest, where I am still based. I started teaching in Budapest and continued my studies, too. I have taught every age and level in all sorts of settings and for many different institutions. I continue teaching language as I find it necessary to go on doing what I train people for or what I create materials for. As regards teacher training, my big moment came when I attended an international SEAL (Society for Effective Affective Learning) conference, where I met Mario Rinvolucri, who invited me to Pilgrims, where I found my home professionally. The creativity, humanism, learner-centredness and innovation I found there still makes my heart beat faster.

What are the main takeaways or insights you aim to deliver during your talk, and how do you believe they will benefit the audience?   

I have nothing pre-packaged to take away, or insights for others as I do not see with their eyes. What I plan to do is to think together about the big picture of education. I find that we, teachers have so many details to think about, prepare for and solve for every single lesson that we may lose sight of the wider implications of what we do, of how we contribute to what the world is now and will be in the future; how we make sense of our work beyond Present Perfect or the marks we give our students, which are important of course, but important details. I’d like somehow to see the forest for the trees.

Can you recall a particularly memorable experience related to teaching or training that left a lasting impact on you?

One particularly memorable and determinative moment happened to me on my very first lesson as a trainee teacher. It was a Hungarian grammar lesson, and the memorable moment was when I gave my first ever instruction to a group of students (aged 11 – 12). I gave my instructions clearly as I had been taught to do, and as I was watching the students’ reactions to my words, my heart missed a beat, and I became anxious, even shocked: they all were doing as I said! I just realised it there and then what power and responsibility I had taken on me by wanting to be a teacher. My students for decades will do as I say! I’m still in awe.

Who or what has been a significant influence or inspiration in your professional journey?

My students, my trainees, my colleagues and all the many changes I have experienced and often created for myself.  

Do you have any passion projects or hobbies that contribute to your broader understanding of teaching and learning?

Global issues and global education teach me to be humbler. Dancing teaches me to follow others and execute what someone else created rather than just following what I think and whatever ideas I might have.