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I’m really looking forward to the 25th Annual BC TESOL Conference [Access, Application and Advocacy] at Gladstone Secondary in Vancouver – on PSA Day, October 23rd. I hear that registration is up over 130 as of today and knowing how often teachers are so busy that they rush to register at the last moment, I am pretty sure we will be at our usual 200+ by the end of next week. There are several reasons why I am particularly looking forward to the conference this year.

First, this year will feature an EdCamp for the morning. The chance to talk about our current ‘hot topics’ with regard to additional language learners and have time to actually chew on ideas, rather than be talked AT by an expert is not to be missed. This way we create our own learning and thinking together and perhaps have some new insights to take back to our  classrooms and schools. I have chatted with several teachers who have expressed similar excitement about this new format.

Second, in addition to the chance to really talk with colleagues about issues of concern, there are also some traditional workshop sessions in the afternoon.As usual they all sound worth checking out but I had to choose in order to register and so I did. I hope you can still get your choice if you have not yet registered. [To register click here.]

Finally, I have been coming to this conference since the PSA began to hold such conferences. The first was in 1990 and, packrat teacher that I am, I have the conference brochure to prove it. [ESL PSA First Annual Conference] Twenty-five years later I still maintain that I always get my money’s worth and more. The food is good, the publishers are enticing and the generosity of teachers sharing great teaching ideas is extraordinary. And, oh yes, did I mention the Chocolate Fountain social at the end of the day??? Definitely a great way to entice this chocoholic to stay and chat and nibble !

Help me find a ‘missing’ ESL Pioneer?

Because this is our 25th annual conference,  it was decided that I should try to bring some of the pioneer advocates for additional language learners together to officially recognize their commitment and dedication.

In particular, I have managed to track down those who helped to start the PSA and to raise its fledgling voice all those years ago. I hope you will be there to applaud their efforts – and maybe consider stepping up to further the advocacy work as a member and perhaps to stand for election to office just as they did.

In my quest, I have made contact with 12 out of 13 members of that first executive and many of them are able to come to the conference. However, one person is ‘missing’. I am hoping that someone in their network will know how to contact her.  The ‘missing’ member of that first executive is Arlene Churchill, who served as member at large on the first executive. If you know how to contact her please forward this PSA Invitation for First Exec to her. Thank you in advance for helping with the contact and I hope to see you at the conference.