What a breath of fresh air. And, no, it isn’t one of those chemical air fresheners. I am writing this sitting at the Membership Table at our Spring Conference. There is electricity in the air, like among the fans at a sporting event; a buzz, a contented hum of participants as they move through the Hyatt from vendor to vendor and workshop to workshop by way of the food and beverage stations, too. We are here in record numbers for recent years, a very good thing considering how districts have been cutting back on allowing teachers to participate in outside professional development days.
It is at this time of the year that we have the changing of the guard: new Executive Board members sign on for the next 2 years. We welcome Sandee McBride into the President’s slot as Cassy Lawrence becomes our new Past President. Joanne Negrin assumes the post of VP and Conference Chair. Gregory Romero was elected for Bilingual-ESL1-8 Special Interest Group (SIG); and Bilingual Secondary SIG Representative will be Yasmin Hernandez-Manno. And Judie Haynes fills the newly created position of Social Media Coordinator.
Last night, we had the Awards Reception when we get to see some of the fruits of our labors. Several deserving students entered winning essays into our writing “contest” that added the exclamation points to their bilingual/ESL school efforts. See the photos and read the items by their proud presenters.
Personally, I feel reinvigorated. I have been retired from the Paterson Public School District for over 3 years and am enjoying my retirement immensely. I am busier than ever before doing what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it: no bells, no deadlines, and no restrictions on when I can go to the bathroom. But after these 2 days here in New Brunswick, among colleagues, I feel that I want to jump back in. After all, teaching is part of my persona, part of my DNA, my fabric. We’ll see what the future brings.
For this edition, I will not give a quickie synopsis of each writer’s piece: there is so much to read for everyone across the board, not just in your SIG. However, one sentence that Noreen Drucker wrote resonates, We teach them the way they learn, not necessarily the way we were taught to teach. So true. By belonging to NJTESOL/NJBE, we are each other’s support system to teach them the way they learn. Use our Hotlist as a continuing network support and spread the news to others who are not yet members.
On a different note, please see our new advertiser WCEPS, Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services. Their ad is located between the Elementary and Secondary ESL SIGS. With WIDA on your mind, you should look to see what they have to offer you. There is also a special discount through September 15.
Enjoy this issue, enjoy the summer, and check out the Calendar page for great things to come.
Roselyn Rauch, Ed.D., is the editor of Voices and a retired ESL/ESL Resource teacher from the Paterson Public School System. She is a consultant with ESL Unlimited and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .