This year, TESOL has invited five members who work in diverse contexts to blog about their experiences at the TESOL Convention and Exhibit in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 16-19, 2011. Here’s a little information about each of them:
Andrea Giordano has been an ESL instructor for 5 years, but she’s been a TESOL member for about 3 weeks. She’s the assistant director of ESL for Campbellsville University, in Campbellsville, Kentucky. She first heard about TESOL when she was working as a secretary in an ESL department. A teacher there described the TESOL convention as “a place where English language educators from all over the globe would come together for collaboration and inspiration.” Andrea says, “I knew then that I wanted to be a part of that community. After 8 years of waiting, I’m happy to say, ‘New Orleans, here I come!’”
Evelín A. Ojeda Naveda has been a professor on the Faculty of Education at Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela, since 2003. She attended her first VenTESOL convention in 1997. “I was an 18-year-old pre-service English teacher,” she says, “and was eager to learn more about my career.” Now, 14 year later, Evelín will attend her first international convention. “I could not be happier to share with affiliates from all over the world!” Evelín writes. “I truly believe what TESOL does is feed the souls of English teachers worldwide!”
Susan Prevost was born and raised in New Orleans, where she grew up to be a high school ESL teacher in Jefferson Parish Schools. Aside from public school teaching, she has taught at the American School of Madrid, Tulane University, and St. Louis University in Madrid, Spain. She describes her students in her Newcomers’ program as “an interesting gumbo . . . that includes Dominicans, Hondurans, Haitians, Palestinians, and a growing number of Mexicans.” She wanted to “blog for TESOL,” she says, because “I thought blogging for TESOL would be an exciting way to experience the conference!”
Sandra Annette Rogers is a veteran blogger and TESOL conference attendee. In fact, she says, “I even found a job at the TESOL marketplace in 1992 in Vancouver!” She’s also founded a 501(c)3 nonprofit called BrokeButNotForLong, Inc., that helps people find employment. Sandra has been an English Teaching Fellow in Mozambique, a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, and these days she teaches college reading online for the University of South Alabama and rates TOEFL speaking tests for ETS. All of this, and she still finds time to stay active for TESOL’s CALL Interest Section.
Patricia Szasz is the Director of Intensive English Programs at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and she serves on the board of the California/Nevada affiliate, CATESOL, as Level Chair for Intensive English Programs. After contending with the blizzard in Denver in 2009–remember that?–Patricia is excited to come to New Orleans. “When I first heard that the TESOL 2011 Annual Convention would be in New Orleans, I was excited. When I realized it would be on St. Patrick’s Day, I practically booked my plane ticket then and there. . . . It promises to be a great professional development experience as well as just a really good time. Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
TESOL is very pleased and excited to welcome these five distinguished members as convention bloggers. I hope you’ll take the time over the next few weeks, as well as during and after the convention, to read and respond to their posts. Interacting with these folks will certainly enrich your convention experience.
See you in New Orleans!