Well, it’s Day 1 and the sun is shining here in Boston. I’m always filled with pride in my profession at the annual TESOL convention. It thrills me to see so many teachers all gathered in one place for the purpose of professional development. I stood in line for an hour yesterday to receive my ID badge (despite registering in advance!), and I passed the time by chatting with an American who flew all the way from Saudi Arabia to represent her school. We discussed cultural issues in the classroom and the experience of being in EFL (a trip down memory lane for me).
It’s only 9:00 a.m. today, and I’ve already made the acquaintance of three other teachers, one of whom traveled from Peru. These chance meetings along with the pre-arranged ones make TESOL so special. I feel connected to something larger than myself. We’re all in this together to achieve a common goal: delivering quality English instruction. The opportunity to attend academic sessions and workshops is without question another benefit. At 7:30 this morning, I wisely chose to attend Eli Hinkel’s session, Grammar to Teach (or Not to Teach) for Writing. Eli is such a humorous and engaging presenter. I first heard her speak back in Denver, and she was just as funny and insightful this year in Boston. If you’d like to know more about her thoughts on “dead” grammar structures that shouldn’t be taught, you can visit her website. She promised to post her material upon her return to Seattle.
More to come! For those of you at TESOL, please note that I’ll be in the Electronic Village today at 2:00 p.m. to represent the Electronic Village Online (EVO) and in room 208 at 5:00 p.m. to discuss online opportunities to blend teaching and materials writing.