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Affiliate News: February 2010

Affiliate News (February 2009): Three Rivers TESOL reports on a terrific innovation for raising their association’s profile

by User Not Found | 11/11/2011

Three Rivers TESOL reports on a terrific innovation for raising their association’s profile

Janet Pierce, President, Three Rivers TESOL

Three Rivers TESOL is the western Pennsylvania TESOL affiliate serving ESL professionals in over 100 school districts and many colleges and universities from Erie to California, Pennsylvania. In 2007 we celebrated 25 years as an affiliate of TESOL. This year as president, Three Rivers TESOL adopted the theme, “Moving Forward: Focusing on Quality in the ESL Classroom,” and made this the focus of a road trip throughout western Pennsylvania, where I represented Three Rivers TESOL and hosted “meet and greet socials” to let teachers and students in the TESOL field know about Three Rivers TESOL and our fall conference.

I took the idea of meet-and-greets on a road trip because I feel as a leader I need to raise awareness of what Three Rivers TESOL can do for ESL professionals. At TESOL’s leadership conference on January 25, 2005, Neil Anderson addressed those in attendance by asking, “Who are we and what do we believe are the unique contributions that we can make? I am passionate about the need for all ESL teachers at all levels of the education process from public schools to private schools to higher education entities to community organizations to join our organization and become leaders in their own right and place through the opportunities offered by Three Rivers TESOL. As a result, the board and I urged our membership and potential members to “develop the leader within you.” We started with the socials, then the fall conference. At the daylong conference we had over 27 different presentations including posters sessions, workshops, and a panel discussion titled“Focusing on Quality Relationships: Dealing With Administrators and Regular Content Area Teachers,” as well as lectures in the education, adult/family literacy, and postsecondary education strands. Our plenary speaker was Robert Measel, assistant director of ESL/ Bilingual Education from the Pennsylvania Department of Education,and he addressed the quality of ESL education in Pennsylvania public schools.

Though we had our usual number of attendees, many new ESL teachers and TESOL students joined and participated. I am encouraged by that fact and feel that Three Rivers TESOL will continue to grow and provide leadership and professional development opportunities for our membership as we strive to develop the best within each of us.