During the Ontario
College strike in October 2017, I felt compelled to be more politically aware.
Then, in October 2018, I attended the Canadian Ministers of Education, Canada
(CMEC) Pan-Canadian Research
Conference and I found the global and local initiatives to improve education truly
inspiring. At my institution, I
joined our Senate, Honorary Degree Committee, Local Executive Council, and
became the Chair of the Academic Policy Committee. Being a driver of change is
really hopeful and promising.
In 2018, after some 37 years in the TESL field, I joined the TESL Ontario Board. This is the ideal volunteer challenge for me at this point in my life. I am keen to do what I can to contribute to the health of the organization and, most importantly, to the ongoing professionalization of TESL. Throughout the life of a teacher, you gain perspective as your career progresses and at one point you realize that you are ready to pitch in and give some time to the profession at large.
While teaching a module about working in Canada, I found my students were a bit surprised when I told them that volunteer work was not only valuable to have on a resume, but also one of the best ways to gain work experience in Canada. For many, “paid” work experience seemed to be the only valued work experience they had known. So, when I mentioned to my class that employers like to see volunteer experience on resumes and hear about it in job interviews, students started asking how they could do it.