|September 13, 2020
Dear TESL Canada Members,
Sending along my warmest greetings at this very challenging time! Can you believe it is already September?! I trust you have found some time to relax and rejuvenate this summer. However, I do realize that relaxing has not been overly feasible due to the personal and professional concerns that abound.
I just wanted to touch base with everyone to let you know that TESL Canada continues to serve its members during this unprecedented time in our history. The summer has been busy with applications for individual certification, teacher training program inquiries and reports, website updates, communications of various kinds including webinars, and committee and board meetings. If you have questions or need information, please do not hestitate to contact our TC staff at [email protected] or [email protected].
I would like to highlight a few activities- first we are pleased to have begun a collaboration with Cambridge and were very satisfied with the professional learning (PL) webinar they offered in July. Thank you for your attendance and your feedback. Cambridge Resources for Teachers can be found on our website. We hope that there will be more of these collaborative activities with Cambridge in the future. Also related to PL, we now have a spot in each member’s individual profile where PL can be recorded and saved. And, finally, on the topic of PL, we are pleased to have offered four bursaries to members in the spring and we will be offer two more $250 bursaries for fall learning. Our upcoming September newsletter will feature a short article from a bursary recipient as well as a reminder for applications for the fall offering. We are posting links to PL opportunities as well as fall virtual conferences on our website. Stay tuned for further communications on a variety of PL-related topics (e.g., future webinars, newsletters, conference info)!
One new initiative, established by the TESL Canada settlement language committee, is the “Stories of Us” project. We have now received over 20 stories related to learning in the time of COVID that will be published in collaboration with “Stories of Us”. Three teachers teaching in three different contexts (Literacy, CLB1-4, CLB5+) have been randomly awarded a small cash prize for their contributions (will be announced in the newsletter). This is another exciting collaborative endeavour aimed at supporting and celebrating the work of TESL Canada members and their students.
We are always looking for ways to work with and promote our approved teacher training programs (TTPs) and an email has gone out to start this conversation. TESL Canada is committed to collaborating and consulting with TTPs in order to address issues that arise and ideas to support teaching and learning. As was the case with the action in the spring to address COVID-19, the TESL Canada Standards Committee is attentive to changing situations and evolving trends. We hope to call another TTP consultation meeting in the fall.
I wanted to let you all know that I am grateful that during these uncertain times the current board has agreed to stay in place until the spring, at which time we will be holding a virtual AGM. Please consider whether you might like to put forth a nomination to be a part of the TESL Canada Board. More information will follow on this matter at a later date.
Wishing you all a positive and productive fall. Please feel free to reach out to myself or our TC staff, Donna and Teri, if you have suggestions on PL topics or other ideas to assist members in their teaching during the pandemic. In these challenging times we are here to support you.
TESL Canada President