Voices Vol 41 No 4

From The Editor

Our Mission and Our Magic

By Roselyn Rauch

The seasons may change but our mission does not. If  you have never read our Mission Statement, here it is:

NJTESOL/NJBE, Inc. is a not-for-profit professional and educational organization whose purposes are:

(1) To actively support the development of bilingual education and the teaching of English as a Second Language;
(2) To strengthen instruction at all levels;
(3) To disseminate educational information as related to professional development;
(4) To provide educational services such as workshops, conferences, and consulting assistance;
(5) To promote scholarship and foster research in first and second language acquisition and bilingual/bicultural studies; and
(6) To cooperate in appropriate ways with other groups having similar interests and concerns.

As you read through this edition of Voices, you will see that each of the writings supports our on-going and very important mission. President Cassy Lawrence writes about Challenges and Making Magic Happen; she relates the challenging dynamics of her new classes and prepares to “make magic happen”, something to which all bilingual and ESL practitioners can relate. Vice President Sandy McHugh-McBride and your entire NJTESOL/NJBE executive board are already preparing for the 2013 Spring Conference, Language, Heritage, and Culture — The Magic in English Language Learning. Registration information will be available soon  at www.njtesol-njbe.org. Coming sooner in November, Joan Pujol informs us about NJTESOL/NJBE at the NJEA Convention.

New and exciting for our ESL and bilingual teachers-in-training, free membership in our organization. The Executive Board voted this summer to institute this new benefit for our up-and-coming colleagues. Read the details by Teacher Education Special Interest Group representative Mary Curran in Free NJTESOL/NJBE Student Memberships.

Executive Board members gave of their personal time during the summer to advocate to legislators in Washington, DC (Tina Kern-TESOL Advocacy Day -A Unique Opportunity) and to attend WIDA training sessions (Noreen Drucker- WIDA Certification for Trainers). Read their reports.

Elizabeth (BJ) Franks reveals in Jersey’s Pride  that two ESL teachers have won New Jersey County Teachers of the Year recognition while two other NJ teachers won second place in a WIDA video contest. And our own Executive Board member and past Bergen-Passaic Chapter president, Monica Schnee, was honored as “Teacher of the Month” in Think Teachers magazine.

While we’re speaking of recognition, it is not too early to be thinking of the Spring Conference honors that we bestow on students and teaching practitioners. Read 2013 Spring Conference Scholarships, Awards, and Teaching Grant to view the 6 categories and keep checking our website www.njtesol-njbe.org for more information and applications.

Difficult issues are addressed in Between Two Worlds (Tina Kern); To Exit or Not to Exit?” That is The Question (Monica Schnee); and Placed in ESL…Again (Gladys Vega Scott). Remedies and suggestions for other situations are discussed in  Effective Practices for Addressing Students with Interrupted Formal Education [SIFE] (Yasmin Hernández-Manno); A Few Tips for the Beginning of the Year (Monica Schnee);  A Model Framework for Developing Curriculum  (Caia Schlessinger); and in two articles by JoAnne M. Negrín, On Moving From a Transitional Model of Bilingual Education to a Two-Way Immersion Model and Giving Your District Access to ACCESS. Karen Nemeth keeps us technologically current with Social Media Opens Doors for Parent and Community Action.

Our webmaster Marilyn Pongracz continues with her Favorite Websites and recommendations. For this  issue it is Sophia. We also have a guest contributor, Tugba Hoguet, who informs us of  Websites for Math & Science.

So there you have it. Our mission’s discrete points are once again addressed by dedicated professionals for the benefit of students and all of those who are part of the education and socialization of our newest charges. Though it remains unwritten, there could easily be a #7 in the mission statement (though it is implied), “To provide a mechanism (think The Hotlist) by which ESL and bilingual service providers can support each other in an ongoing 24/7/365 time frame.”

NJTESOL/NJBE is always here for you, not just the 4 times a year when Voices is published, or in May during our annual spring conference, or at some mini-conference. We are here all the time, every day. Just contact us.

Wishing you a great year, and, as always,
Looking forward,


Roselyn Rauch, Ed.D