TESOL Ambassadors are English language professionals and students who have agreed to share their Convention experiences with other attendees. Hind Elyas, English Instructor in Saudi Arabia, is a 2021 TESOL Ambassador.
I have always wanted to attend the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. I have been following TESOL in the past years, connected with many TESOLers, and attended events such as myTESOL Lounge Live discussions, webinars, and PLNs, and this all made me want to get more involved.
This year, the Convention was such a rewarding experience for many reasons.
1. The Virtual Convention
Living and working in another country and work commitments made it difficult to travel to attend the Convention. I was thrilled when TESOL announced that the Convention would be online. It allowed me to attend the entire event in the comfort of my living room, and it was indeed an unforgettable experience.
There were so many things I loved about the convention. First, the topics were stimulating, and the presenters were inspiring! The information was relevant and well presented, and there was a good mix of different topics. I learned so much from the sessions, and the level of expertise and knowledge of the presenters were excellent! I loved the fact that participants are given the opportunity to listen to the recordings for 90 days! That was very helpful, and it is a valuable source of information that can be used for months to come.
There were several opportunities for collaborating, connecting, and learning. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet different TESOLers from so many other countries and explore new cultures, using the Attendee Connection function. It was so much fun looking for registered friends and connecting with them.
The roundtables feature was very exciting. It was great to pop in and out of rooms, meeting colleagues and inviting others to join, too! It gave participants a sense of ownership and belonging. It was also an ideal platform for networking and such an energizing and fun experience!
2. Convention Ambassador
Another wonderful experience was being selected as a TESOL 2021 Virtual Convention Ambassador, and I was thrilled.
This role allowed me to become more involved, and I learned so much. I was honoured to represent TESOL before the Convention, during the event, and after it was over. Before the event, I enjoyed sharing exciting information and updates about the sessions.
As a passionate believer in the association and its vision and mission, I wanted to share my excitement about the Convention and get other people excited about it, too! It made me feel that I was part of something great, and I was happy to answer questions, share important updates, and encourage people to attend the event.
It was also a chance to learn more about the presenters, sessions, platform, networking opportunities, and so much more. I was incredibly excited and motivated by the game leaderboard, and I really enjoyed the competition. It was so much fun!
3. Leadership Mentoring Program Recipient
Another aspect that made this year exceptional was that I was selected as a TESOL Leadership Mentoring Program Award recipient. It was such a great honour for me to receive this award, and I am grateful to TESOL International Association for this recognition. The award ceremony was very exciting. It was a great evening, with so many familiar faces, and there were vibes of positivity, excitement, and anticipation in the room, which was amazing! It was very inspiring to meet all the mentors and mentees during the ceremony, and I was delighted to be part of it.
Without a doubt, the Convention was a memorable event, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic TESOL International Association for this great Convention and all the wonderful opportunities the association provides for its members all over the world. I cannot wait for next year’s Convention, which will hopefully be face to face.