Pedagogical Conference
02 May, 2013
Pedagogical Conference
The Lamara Margvelashvili XXI Century School of Tbilisi

The TBC Bank hall of public events hosted an educational conference on the 27th of April of 2013, which was organized by the administration and faculty of the Lamara Margvelashvili XXI Century School of Tbilisi in partnership with the National Center of the Teachers’ Professional Development, Ilia Chavchavadze University and TBC Bank. This was the day of inception of a new good tradition in Georgia –
the annual scientific-practical conference dedicated to the memory of Lamara, a.k.a. Tatulia Margvelashvili, the founder of one of the most popular schools of Tbilisi ‘The XXI Century’, currently headed by her daughter Mariam Kutateladze. It was she who initiated the idea of the conference, and having safely put it through myriad difficulties, gave our pedagogues a chance to exchange most contemporary concepts and practical experience on various problems of education. For me personally, the greatest revelation was that the young teachers who I had worked with shoulder to shoulder for many years at the school had that day presented themselves as mature scientific researchers whose works may very well become quite consequential in our everyday pedagogical activity.
Especially interesting were the presentations made by: Irina Abuladze of the Ilia University concerning the project of the concept of teachers’ professional development and career building; the teacher of natural science Maka Mamforia of the XXI Century School about the ways of enhancing the quality of the learning-teaching process; teacher of the Russian language and literature Maggie Koberidze of the same school on the topic of developing of empathy in the students in the academic process; Khatuna Kumelashvili of school N 16 of Tbilisi about the virtual classroom EDMODO.
Through the entire Conference sounded the necessity of motivation of teachers to teach and the students to learn, but nobody had emphasized clearly and specifically the simple truth that the best way to motivate a teacher for teaching is a good salary – practically nothing else – and for motivating a student for learning well is that the educational system in general and the teachers in particular need to come up with an educational model which easily translates into their wellbeing in the future. Actually, we had a brief conversation during the break on this topic with the main speaker of the Conference Irina Abuladze, who was first surprised at my straightforward and unembellished suggestion that the pecuniary end is that matters most when it comes to educational goals, but finally had concurred with me – at least that was the impression.
Mariam, alias Marika Kutateladze, the XXI Century School owner and headmaster had expressly behaved herself in the most reserved and modest way at the Conference which was after all her child of brain, saying nothing of the efforts she had made to make it all possible. Well, noblesse oblige, as the French saying goes, but rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s is also a good idea. Marika did all her possible best to have the Conference work accordingly, but without a genuine sense of creativity and the agile brains she has always had, nothing would have been in place, and Georgia’s pedagogical world would have lost the chance it has acquired. On the other hand, acquiring a chance is one thing and using it to the benefit of the generations to come is quite different. The funniest thing that happened was that not one person from the Ministry of Education had felt obligated to be present at the Conference. They had to! They needed to be there! You can’t move forward anything unless you are right in the middle of happenings that determine the development thereof. The truth is that the Conference I am talking about meant real business – teachers were talking how to make education better in this country. And they were doing this without asking for any benefits. Just enthusiasm! Their clean, honest, unmitigated professional enthusiasm! That enthusiasm deserves attention and is worth their weight in gold. In a word, the Conference was a great success. The tradition was born. We are not going to wait for the governments to initiate intellectual get-togethers like that for us. We are on our own!
And finally, the late Lamara Margvelashvili – our own darling Tatulia has left a legacy upon which her progeny Mariam Kutateladze has built a system which produces conferences like the one we have all participated in with great emotion and intellectual readiness. Lamara was known by the nickname of Tatulia to her beloved people. The nation knew her by that name and called her that lovely name which stuck her naturally. Generations of Georgians have grown in her hands and in front of her caring eyes. She was bigger than life as a person, unforgettable as a teacher, indispensable as a principal and irreplaceable as a friend. And she was an epitome of a mom. I will never put up with the fact that she is no longer with us. She is! Wasn’t she right there at the conference, watching and leading us? The irrefutable truth of life is that we all need Tatulias here in Georgia at all times, and the world needs Tatulias to be a better place to live. The entire Conference was illuminated by her elevated image.
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