From the President, Spring 2015

Mar 13th, 2015 | By | Category: Lead Story, Messages, President's Message
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Kimberley Briesch Sumner

Kimberley Briesch Sumner

Midterm Hell or Spring Break Indecision?
Not to Worry–It’s Conference Season!

By KIMBERLEY BRIESCH SUMNER

—At this time of the year, do you find yourself daydreaming about your options for relaxation or intellectual stimulation, in the hope that you’ll have your grading completed before the next school holiday or spring break? If you are anything like me, the answer is yes! March, April, and May are very busy for most of us, but there is usually some light at the end of that teaching tunnel.

One of the lights that I often look to at this time of year is all the conferences and events that CATESOL offers. Whether you are planning to go to a local chapter event or one of the three CATESOL regional conferences, attending one or more of these events is a great way to meet and network with other ESL professionals from your area and beyond, to chat with a textbook rep to gain insight on that new textbook series you’ve been meaning to check out, to learn something new from a session, to share an idea with other professionals informally or in a presentation, or to mull over an aspect of our field that you hadn’t thought about before and to become inspired by a keynote speaker.

No matter what your reason for attending an event is, I’m confident that this year you’ll find that your faithful CATESOL organization has available a gold mine of enrichment and professional-development opportunities to give you a break from your busy work life! We have an immense group of dedicated TESL students and talented ESL professionals who have been hard at work planning upcoming regional conferences and chapter events. Their enthusiasm for the profession and their diligence has already paid off at the very successful San Diego Regional Conference, “Powered UP!” and the Saroyan chapter event “Developing Academic Language for Emergent Bilinguals” and will prove equally great at the remaining upcoming events, including the Los Angeles Regional Conference, “Innovate, Transform, Inspire,” the Northern Regional Conference, and the Orange County, Capital Area, and Inland Empire Chapter workshops. (Check the CATESOL calendar at http://catesol.org/calendar.html, your twice-monthly CATESOL Update, and this CATESOL News for all the important details on events happening near you!)

In addition to all the grassroots work that our membership is doing across California and Nevada, the CATESOL Board of Directors has been hard at work too. Our level chairs, chapter council, and interest group coordinators and facilitators ensure that all the levels and interest groups have something to talk about at the chapter events, regionals, and the annual conference and serve as liaisons to the other Board members. Our Board continues to work on building a robust and efficient organization, promoting sociopolitical advocacy on the issues you think are important, increasing awareness of CATESOL as a support organization for ESL professionals, and staying current with innovations that can help us do our jobs better or help us communicate with one another more easily.image of social media coordinator application, with social media icons and ellipses

One such innovation is the creation of a social media coordinator position that I mentioned in my last president’s message, and we are very excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for this new CATESOL position. So many of us use social media and this position will be a great way to help our members be “in the know” about all things CATESOL. Whether you wish to have tweets about important annual conference events or want to get announcements about upcoming events from your local chapter, this position will help everyone be more aware of useful news and will also give members an outlet to share photos and experiences at conferences with each other! If you are interested in applying for this position or know someone who might be, please follow this link: http://goo.gl/forms/XUQCI0Zv0s, where more details about the position can be found, and complete the short application form by March 31.

Although this busy time may challenge us in many ways, let’s challenge ourselves to think outside the box, to discuss the profession intellectually with other members, or to walk away from a CATESOL event with a great idea to use in the classroom. All these can help us prevent or relieve burnout—and to see the light at the end of our teaching tunnel.

Yours in CATESOL,

Kimberley Briesch Sumner

 

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