Guest Contributor: Jim Papple
Well, hello there! I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced, but we’ve probably bumped into each other before…maybe at a conference, or a webinar. Allow me to introduce TESL Ontario’s College and University Committee!
Over the last 3 years, a small but dedicated group of people have been toiling to put together the infrastructure to have a new committee and a voice for College and University educators. For a committee to work effectively, a lot of things need to be in place including terms of reference, a strategic plan, a call for volunteers. We accomplished these tasks and many more within our first year and have looked to grow and expand. Our mission is to develop leadership for professional development and practice among English language and TESOL educators working in both the college and university sectors.
The College and University sector makes up approximately 30% of the TESL Ontario membership. Therefore, it was important to make sure that there was a committee in place to make sure that issues and topics related to colleges and universities were being discussed.
Currently the committee is made up of 8 members from colleges and universities across Ontario. We have two co-chairs, Lara McInnis and Jim Papple, as well as 6 members at large. Not only do we come from different schools, but we have different jobs within the sector as well: Like professor (Geoff Lawrence), administrators (Dr. Danielle Freitas & Bill Hodges), PhD candidates (Cheryl Fretz), instructors and a TESL Ontario board member (Alex Harchenko). Our terms are 2 years in length and we place a call each year for new members to join our dedicated team.
We want to help make TESL Ontario a rich forum for educators in the college and university sector, so this year we have some big plans! We have started rolling out webinars built around college and university interests and concerns. Look for our first four webinars in the coming months. They will be easy to spot as you can identify them by our new logo (pictured here). We also will be running sessions and polls on TESL Ontario’s social media streams to engage with you directly. Finally, look for us at this year’s conference.
If you are an educator in one of Ontario’s 22 public universities, or 24 colleges, we want to hear from you and interact with you. We would love to make your acquaintance!
About the Author
James Papple is the Associate Director of York University’s English Language Program and co-chair of the Colleges and Universities Committee of TESL Ontario.