An Interview with Beatrix Price

8th July 2024

 Hello Beatrix and thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.  Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I work at the Department of Language Pedagogy at the Institute of English and American Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. I am Hungarian but I "borrowed" my surname from my English husband for this lifetime. We live and work in Hungary and have raised four children who are bilingual and multicultural. All four of them live abroad and they are true global citizens. 
My professional interests include language teaching methodology, creativity in education, the use of art in English classes, child development, teacher associations, teacher leadership, and teacher professional development and well-being.
I have been a member of my national teacher association, IATEFL-Hungary, now TESOL Hungary, for about 15 years and became involved in it from the beginning, taking on different roles until later I became the president of the association. I quite enjoyed organising CPD events and I am especially proud of the monthly Creative Café events and the Silver Jubilee tree-planting project in 2015 that I initiated.
I have presented at numerous conferences, have given workshops and webinars in Europe, North and South America, in Asia and Africa and delivered plenary talks in Croatia (HUPE), Germany (ELTAS), Moldova (META), Israel (ETAI), Kuwait (TEFL Kuwait) and at the IATEFL Associates’ online conference. I have been attending IATEFL conferences since 2014 and participated at the TESOL convention in 2023, where I was also invited to talk at the Affiliates’ day on the findings of my PhD research which was the role of English language teacher associations in providing professional development to EFL teachers. 

How important for our growth as teachers is our wellbeing? How can we ensure we are on the right track?

If we think of the Latin proverb: ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ (Healthy mind in a healthy body), we can see the interrelatedness of the two but taking a holistic approach, not only in learning and teaching but also in teacher professional development, harmony should be attained between body, soul and spirit. 
It is no surprise that the ancient philosophers devoted a large part of their ‘work’ to the topic of human flourishing. In one of my plenary talks I referred to some of the great ones (Socrates, Plato, etc.) and connected their thoughts to modern teacher wellbeing. We can make sure that we are on the right track by developing appropriate self-knowledge, cultivating inner harmony, fostering virtue through habit, pursuing and appreciating true relationships and recognising the power of our limits. 
We EFL teachers and ELT educators tend to work a lot. While intrinsically motivated, loving our profession and generally wanting to do better, it is good to identify the various slices of our lives (our work, CPD opportunities, financial area, family, friends and colleagues, free time activities, exercise and “me time”). We should be conscious that devoting too much time, attention or energy to one slice means that there is a deficit in other areas. Thus, harmony again assures that with self-management and social awareness, we balance the areas in our personal and professional lives. In this way, we can live a balanced personal life and that is how we create safe environments in education where we find acceptance, respect and appreciation. 

How can we create professional success? Why is it so important to do so?

EFL teachers are their own teacher leaders in their own classrooms. But eventually everyone runs out of ideas; and what is better than sharing resources with each other and trying out new things with our learners? All conference goers can affirm that returning back to their teaching contexts always guarantees renewed confidence and success. And the saying “success breeds success” is true. We do become better teachers by refreshing our teaching repertoire and our learners will appreciate that. 
Sharing our own expertise also means a boost in our self-confidence and getting familiar with new resources and trends results in more effective learning outcomes. There is nothing better than sharing our thoughts with like-minded colleagues in professional communities. Nonetheless we are all different and the principle “one size does not fit all” is relevant in this context as well. 

In what ways can we benefit from volunteering in teacher associations?

Learning through volunteering is one reward which we would need to pay for in a corporate environment. Apart from the most obvious benefits (professional development in ELTAs and working with exceptional colleagues) as the main motivating factors in volunteering in teacher associations, skills development should also be mentioned. 
Because most ELTAs are volunteer-driven learning communities, there are no paid positions to execute the jobs, therefore teachers who volunteer have to learn and do everything. In these volunteer positions we learn very quickly how to create a budget, how to run meetings, how to negotiate with others (often with external stakeholders), how to keep the books, how to edit journals,the list is endless. So apart from these, volunteers also benefit from developing academic skills, how to write, how to get published, depending upon the stage of one’s career. Soft skills are another crucial area, for instance, being responsible, being dependable, delegating, sharing work, overseeing, making sure that things are done and being tactful. People skills or interpersonal skills can be another facet, as well as networking, social connections and the career opportunities that come along. Also, the process of leadership development which  often comes supported by mentoring or coaching, or at turning points in educators’ trajectories, from learning to teaching, etc. Self-confidence should also be mentioned. 
If we look deep into ourselves and remember our very first attempts to present, to guide others, we recognise how much we have progressed over the years. This gives us confidence and enthusiasm to mentor or coach younger colleagues and help them become their best possible selves.

About Beatrix Price

Beatrix works as a teacher and a teacher trainer at the Language Pedagogy Department, School of English and American Studies, ELTE university, Budapest. She has extensive experience in teaching both children and adult learners. Her current PhD explored EFL teachers’ continuing professional development supported by teachers’ associations.

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