“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ―William Arthur Ward
Great teachers also engage in professional development to enhance their classroom teaching, networks and opportunities for growth, both personal and professional. Two 2016 TESOL Professional Development Travel Grant recipients, Mawa Samb from Centre Régional de Formation des Professionnels de l’Enfance (CRFPE) in Lille, France, and Laura Hamman, PhD candidate in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, share takeaways and experiences from their attendance at the 2016 TESOL convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Mawa Samb is currently a pre- and in-service teacher trainer at Centre Régional de Formation des Professionnels de l’Enfance (CRFPE) in Lille, France. He holds a PhD, is a Fulbright Exchange teacher alumni and the past president of the Association of Teachers of English in Senegal (ATES).
Diversity of Attendees and Speakers
Attending a TESOL convention can be a one-life experience for an ESL/EFL teacher. The most striking feature is the number of volunteers, participants, TESOL members, and helpers scattered all around the convention center in order to facilitate. Mostly, for all plenary sessions, early in the morning, hundreds of people from all nationalities, backgrounds, countries (jetlagged, trying to adjust to food and the weather or struggling to find their way to the convention) and all levels of teaching would rush to attend the memorable keynote speakers’ talks.
Professionalism, Professionalism, Professionalism
Actually, as a first timer, the feeling is that even if it was early morning, the professionalism, expertise, mastery, and depth of the keynote speakers can be more than inspiring to any teacher willing to move forward in his/her career. In addition, for most presentations I attended, the presenters demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and expertise to suit the audiences’ questions. At the end of a presentation, all attendees would rush to attend other presentations, as if observing a break could be assimilated to missing other presentations that could be key in their professional development.
The other impressive aspect is the timing of all activities starting on time along with a wonderful organization giving the impression that TESOL members have been rehearsing or planning for years every single aspect or detail referring to organization. Hats off to all the people totally dedicated to the TESOL cause.
Laura Hamman is a PhD candidate in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in ESL & bilingual education. Laura is a recipient of the 2016 travel grant, and shares her experience from TESOL 2016 in Baltimore.
I am so grateful to have received a 2016 Professional Development grant to attend the TESOL convention. Thanks to the generous funding, I was able to present my research on using digitally mediated reflective tools with ESL teachers and attend many teacher education sessions that provided a wealth of strategies and ideas for improving my practice as an ESL teacher educator. Attending the TESOL convention is always a highlight of my year, and I highly recommend that practicing ESL/EFL teachers and teacher educators apply for funding to attend in 2017!
The deadline is approaching! Get your application together. Seize this opportunity to network, share, and learn with like-minded educators!
Application deadline: 1 November 2016.
For more information on the travel grant or other travel grants and awards from TESOL, visit TESOL Travel Grants and Awards.