In my first 100 days serving as president of TESOL International Association, I have already had several opportunities to see the amazing work we collectively engage in, as an association and as professionals in the field, and I have seen how much our work matters.
April and May provided opportunities to speak at conferences. Conversations with participants reinforced the increased complexities of our work and sociopolitical realities that shape our profession every day. These themes echo our discussions at the TESOL Summit in Greece earlier this year, and I look forward to continued dialogue about our changing profession and the implications for our Association.
June was a month for collective action. The Research Symposium in Monterey, organized by TESOL and the International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), provided an opportunity for professional development by sharing our experiences with systematic inquiry into our practices. Participants left the symposium with new questions, new tools, and a new network of those engaged in similar inquiry.
I was also fortunate to be part of the annual TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit that took place in Washington D.C., 18–20 June 2017. Through presentations by leading experts and hands-on workshops, more than 100 attendees prepared for their visit with House and Senate representatives to advocate for equity and excellence in education for English language learners. This event is one of our many efforts to be a strong and consistent voice for our profession and our learners. It was a powerful example of our commitment to advocacy for policies and practices that reflect the current realities and understandings about English language teaching and learning, in the United States and around the world.
Finally, these first 100 days have also included introducing TESOL’s new executive director, Christopher Powers, to the world of TESOL International Association. Coming out of the world of international education, Chris understands the value of multilingualism and how it affords us to access new worlds, perspectives, and experiences. He has extensive leadership experience and I am glad he chose to come to TESOL. In the video below, Chris explains why he is so pleased to be part of our community.
I hope to use the TESOL President’s Blog this year to highlight our collective accomplishments and engage in a dialogue about future directions of the field and the Association. I welcome your input and suggestions, and I would like to hear about your accomplishments. Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments and feel free to send me an email!