The Magic of Chapter Making

Sep 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Chapters, San Diego
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Magdalena Kwiatkowski

Magdalena Kwiatkowski


—Teachers are a creative kind. They will oftentimes settle for less than a well-paid job because, like other artists, they find thrill and fulfillment in the act of creation: designing classroom environments in which learning thrives, finding new ways to reach and transform their students, and creating that perfect moment during class time when hearts soar and minds open.

When I reflect upon the benefits of joining a chapter, this creative aspect is the first thing that comes to my mind. Yes, a chapter is a great opportunity to meet new colleagues and to network, and taking on a chapter function can boost one’s résumé like few other experiences. In fact, we have heard more than one story of a person’s finding a job thanks to a conversation he or she had at a chapter meeting. It is also a place where you can learn from colleagues and gurus and hear about the latest in the field. But above all, it is a place where you can make things happen.

Our local San Diego chapter of CATESOL started in 2011 and has grown significantly since then. Many people have contributed to its growth and many have experienced that artist’s thrill in seeing it transform. After the last Spring Workshop, which was really a Mini-Regional Conference, we all had a marvelous sense of “We did it!” as we were celebrating its successful completion. Chapter-sponsored presentations and workshops, the Newsletter, the website, several delicious dishes we shared at social events, and several ideas that originated in the chapter and later found a larger audience—all these made us happy as much as they were useful for the recipients. Our new workshop, “Making a Difference: Developing Our Skills to See the Whole Student,” coming on October 4, will cover a wide range of topics related to student assessment and evaluation—an apparently tedious, uninspiring topic that we are sure we can present in a new light. We hope you will attend it, and in the meantime, we hope our experience will inspire you to join a chapter in your area.

Magdalena Kwiatkowski is coordinator of the San Diego Chapter of CATESOL. Chapter email:; chapter website:

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