Voices Vol 41 No 1

From The Editor The Buzz is On

By Roselyn Rauch

catinhat1 Carmen E. Martinez, Camden District WWHS Bilingual Teacher of Social Studies, is signing up with NJTESOL/NJBE as the Cat in the Hat looks on.

Iam writing this from the NJEA 2011 Convention in Atlantic City. And the exhibitors’/vendors’ hall is truly buzzing. Both Thursday and Friday, dedicated professionals/paraprofessionals/support personnel/and teachers-in-training, among many others including visitors, walk the hall floor searching for the latest materials and methodologies to bring back to their classrooms. Of course, the little chotchkes (trinkets) that each exhibitor/vendor treats us with do not go unappreciated.

Our own Anneke Forzani, Judie Haynes, Karen Nemeth, Sandee McBride, and Marilyn Pongracz presented workshops. Judie presented Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners across the Content Areas; Marilyn led a workshop on Websites and Applications for Differentiating Instruction; Sandee and Anneke co-presented Welcome to the Multicultural Classroom; and Working with the Science of First and Second Language Development was addressed by Karen.

Joan Pujol and your editor manned (wo-manned?) the NJTESOL/NJBE booth on the exhibition floor fielding questions about the organization and signing up new members. Your editor also walked the floor speaking with exhibitors/vendors encouraging them to place ads in this publication (please patronize them and tell them where you saw their ad) and also speaking with vendors encouraging them to have a booth at our spring conference in May.

It may seem early to you, but we are searching for workshops for next November’s NJEA Convention. We know that so many of you are keeping your strengths and talents hidden. Don’t. Please share your experiences and wealth of knowledge. If you are hesitant about leading a workshop, speak with those who have, or present with a colleague. You can do it! This is a great opportunity for those of you who can’t get to our May Conference to hear from other ESL/BE educators. The deadline for the 2012 NJEA Convention workshop proposals is March 1. Please contact Joan Pujol at jpujol@njtesol-njbe.org for more information.

And now a peek at what is inside this winter 2012 edition of Voices:

We are so looking forward to the Spring Conference at the Hyatt in New Brunswick on May 30 and May 31. Be sure to put in for your professional development days so that they will be approved in a timely fashion. Although the parking was less than stellar last year, we have been working diligently to remedy the situation. Of course, the best bet always is to take public transportation or carpool if you can. All proposals have been adjudicated and the selections are amazing. It is amazing how each year we can actually improve the quality of the conference as a whole. Don’t miss it.

Our president, Judie Haynes, reveals her favorite educational blogs and newsletters. Vice President Cassy Lawrence writes about the upcoming Spring Conference: if you had any doubts about whether or not you wanted to attend, Cassy’s article will certain whet your appetite and sway you to Be There. She provides a comprehensive overview of the conference’s highlights. Be sure to read it and be sure to attend in May.

From the Special Interest Groups:

Monica Schnee reflects on November and December parent-teacher interactions and the latest from WIDA. Karen Nemeth reveals an underused community resource. Tina Kern discusses the placement of twins while Noreen Drucker follows the progression of  Bilingual and ESL Education Through the Years, background information every professional should know. Regina Postogna writes about Opportunities and Challenges and reminds us of law that should be imprinted on our professional brains.

Caia Schlessinger gives us Preparing High School ELLs for Post-Secondary Life and information on the $1,500 Pedro J. Rodriguez HighSchool Scholarship and the $1,000 Héctor R. Villafañe Memorial Scholarship.

Claudia Plata writes about Success Across The Curriculum and Aleks, a useful website. Our technology resource and webmaster, Marilyn Pongracz, writes about a website, too, Learning Chocolate. She also gives us Is the Social Media Making Us Stupid?  and a glimpse into what technology will be presented at the spring conference in May.

Gail Verdi brings us to vampires and fairies (not a misprint) in Readings: Thinking Globally and Acting Locally about Identity and Education: the connection? You will have to read the article at end to find out…

Be sure to check the Calendar and see what is happening near and far. Locally, our Bergen-Passaic chapter had two great year- beginning meetings: read their reports and see the great turnout in the photos.

As always, I encourage you to read what is happening in all of SIGs. Being well-informed increases our ability to advocate for our students, and that is what we are all about.

Keep the buzz going and enjoy this issue.


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 rrauch@njtesol.org .