Inspiration to Join the TESL Ontario Board
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.
After 22 years of teaching ESL and mentoring in TESL, I wanted to explore ways to engage in academic governance, decision-making, strategic direction, continuous change, and emerging trends. When I saw the Board of Directors Call for Nominations, I just knew this was how I could contribute to the field of language education.
Typical Tasks of a Board Member-at-Large
When I was acclaimed to the Board in December 2019, my first duty was to attend the TESL Ontario Conference panel discussions from affiliate chapters to governing ministries like Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCSS), and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Since then, we have had two full board meetings and lots of email and document exchanges.
In these collegial discussions, we share our insights and perspectives that stem from our experiences and exchanges in our respective TESL communities. We listen and observe, make recommendations, and provide peer review for the concerns of our members and our pan-Canadian and international peers.
Aspirations as a Board Member
Since joining, I have learned so much about our membership and what it does for teaching and learning. We have six committees, twelve affiliate chapters, the Tutela webinars, the blog, the Contact magazine, and research to engage with. In fact, I recently joined the Standards Committee and am thinking about joining the TESL Research Registry.
I am passionate about creative problem solving, design thinking, and design-based research, so I hope in the future I will be able to share and use these tools and techniques to give others a voice in TESL leadership.
Interested in joining the team? The nomination period to join the TESL Ontario board has begun! More information can be found on the TESL Ontario website.
*Post updated May 27, 2020.