Friday, May 06, 2005

NNESTs Topics and Issues

As posted to TESOL's NNEST-list serve on May 06, 2005

Hello everybody,

I hope that after reading the newly circulated newsletter you now have some ideas for TESOL 2005 caucus presentations. Two weeks have passed and nothing has been said much about this. I'm wondering if it's possible to pair people- like pairing the novice with the experts. This will help novice NNESTs to experience presenting in TESOL. I'm not sure if some of you will even consider doing this but I think it will be a good chance to encourage others to share what they know.

Presenting in TESOL can be overwhelming sometimes. It takes a lot of courage and confidence. It is only when we believe that we could do it can we come out and shine like a star. NNEST list serve is like any other online groups. We're striving to make a sense out of our participation from this group. The content and tone of our messages posted to this list create a virtual environment showing how friendly, welcoming and professional our community is :-) (or at least we try to be). A member's success (whether it's a scholarship, book releases, presentations in conferences, etc.) is our group's pride and achievement as well. We have 179 members, more or less, yet I don't think that all 179 have actually participated either in discussions or presentations. Now, we are here because we share a common cause. Let's continue where our great leaders and moderators have left off.

Let's start sharing.

Sharing. It's a simple word but loaded with meaning. The act of sharing could also be influenced by our culture and traditions. Many people may find it difficult to share because there are consequences: job security, insecurity, self-interests and what have you. Do you sometimes feel afraid that somebody might steal your ideas? Has our profession really been commercialized to the point that it has become a dog-eat-dog business?

As NNESTs do we often rant about the NS-NNEST dichotomy, compare salaries and benefits, and worse, compare skin colors. 6 years ago, I used to get carried away with these topics. My MSc thesis is heavily based on these issues! It was only 3 years later when I realized that I've had enough. To constantly look at the differences won't make me feel any better; it does not alleviate the situation. The discrepancy will always be there. That's when I thought of a topic for my PhD research, NNESTs' teacher professional development (TPD). Many of us here have completed our MAs and MScs and others are in the process of obtaining theirs. But in our own local contexts, a huge number of NNESTs in private institutions are not as lucky as some of us are. They don't have access to good trainings. What can we do to help them? Do you have any ideas on how to encourage the less privileged teachers to engage in TPD?

Apologies for this long post! I easily get carried away ;-)

Anyway, I hope that this gives you some fresh ideas for your (individual or team work) presentations. When submitting to TESOL, make sure that you submit at least two proposals because the acceptance rate is low (thanks to lucie for this reminder). but this should not discourage you to submit- think of it as a healthy challenge :-)


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