As it’s the first such event, it will be small and relatively informal – it’s not a conference, it’s a sleepover! – but we nonetheless hope to attract both experience CI practitioners and newcomers alike. We will invite, but not insist on, contributions from all, which could be in the form of a talk, a demonstration lesson/activity, a discussion group, or similar.
The CI Sleepover will take place mainly in an unconference format. This means the participants show up on day one and we design the programme together. It may be that certain elements are scheduled in with other time being left empty, and we welcome any suggestions for programme contributions when you sign up, but given that this is the first CI workshop in the UK, the main goal is to allow teachers to network, skillshare and to get an idea of the ‘CI landscape’ within the UK.
…with a radical focus on accessibility
Teachers within the CI and TPRS have done a great job at inclusion and cultural diversity, but one area we feel is lacking is accessibility. What does it mean to have an accessible classroom not only for disabled and neurodivergent students, but also all kinds of educators?
We hope to cater to varying sensory, information processing and stimulatory needs during the event. In practice, this means providing clear information well ahead of the event, finding a middle-ground between fairly compensating contributors and financial viability for the poor and underwaged, and in general being rigorous about temperature, light and sound conditions during the event.
However, we also seek to explore more challenging topics within education. On a basic level, this might be exploring the purpose of brain breaks (are we truly aiming to give students an autonomous break, or can it be considered part of our teaching?) or figuring out how to accommodate students with different processing speeds. On a deeper level: how can we apply concepts from the unschooling and deschooling movements while still working within state education? How can teachers build solidarity with marginalised students and push back against toxic administrative standards?
The registration fee for CI Sleepover 2024 is £125 per person. This includes three nights’ accommodation, and all meals during your stay. Where a participant needs to bring a full-time carer with them, no registration fee will be levied for the carer, although we would appreciate a contribution towards their meals if possible.
If you’re in a position where you could comfortably pay £150, you would be helping to enable others to participate – thank you. And conversely, if your income is intermittent, if you’re on a zero-hours contract, if you are unemployed or similar, then you can pay a reduced rate of £50 or some other amount by arrangement – get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you to attend.
We intend to make both the budget and our actual expenses transparent in due course, but briefly, for this event we are using the house free of charge, and the biggest expense by far is simply food.
The organising team
Ariel Goodbody (they/he/she): a polyglot author and language teacher and the creator of the Easy Stories in English podcast. Cares deeply about education that seeks to be trauma-informed and inclusive of neurodivergence and gender diversity.
Tim Morley (he/him): came across CI a few years ago and has been using it in French groups with primary school kids. Learned a lot as a first-timer at the Agen Workshop in 2023, and was repeatedly asked why there was no CI gathering in the UK, so set about creating it.
Pauli Kožuchová (they/them): enthusiastic language teacher and learner, creator of Learn Slovak with stories. Teaching is a tool for empowerment, liberation, and dismantling oppression.