I hope that the New Year has had a wonderful start for all of you. It is getting chilly here in Maryland, but, although I do not like cold weather, I am happy for this. This cold weather is the indication that we are getting closer to TESOL 2017! I am very excited about the TESOL conference in Seattle coming up in just three months. I have been waiting for the conference impatiently since I was chosen as a TESOL Ambassador along with six fellow TESOLers a couple of months ago.
I am looking forward to meeting with my fellow TESOL Ambassadors. We are a group of professionals who have different backgrounds in life and in the field of education. If you see us during the convention, please do not hesitate to say hello.
When I was first asked about what I am looking forward to about the 2017 convention, the first thing that came to mind was the 2003 convention in Baltimore. It was my first. I was an English instructor in Turkey (born and raised in Turkey) and a colleague of mine had already registered to attend. She asked me if I wanted to join her. Preparations to come to the United States took me a while, with many detours along the way, but I made it. At the convention, I had wonderful opportunities to build my network, and I even found a graduate program to attend in Washington, D.C.
Thirteen years and thirteen TESOL conventions later, I am in the United States working for a nonprofit organization in Maryland, where we are determined to provide a variety of learning pathways for students at all levels. Nowadays, I am not in the classroom with diverse learners, but I love teaching and I know that attending a TESOL convention is the best place to keep myself informed of new professional trends.
TESOL conventions are full of events and workshops. During the convention, I am looking forward to starting my days as early as possible and attending as many workshops as possible. I am hoping to attend a couple of sessions given by some special people I met in the past.
TESOL conventions are great for networking. You never know who you will meet. Being able to share your experiences with others is very beneficial. If you are shy about presenting, attending the convention might give you the courage to submit a proposal and present in the future.
So, if you are like me and you do not want to miss any professional development opportunities in Seattle, I suggest that you put on your comfy shoes and get ready to go places and have experiences that you have never thought possible!