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TESL Toronto: our year in review

With the end of 2011 peeking at us from around the end-of-week corner, it’s a perfect time to reflect and look to the year ahead. We made some significant changes this year and so, let’s take a look back at what 2011 brought to TESL Toronto’s membership.


Websites: out with the old, in with the new
2011: Do you remember our old website (try clicking on the captures from as far back as 2001 too!)? It was great stuff for its time, but with the sleek home-made blog generation, it became clunky and outdated. On January 21, we launched our 2.0 version with more up-to-date, easy-to-navigate TESL information at your 24/7 fingertips.
2012: More news, more information, more links to PD, more interaction with you!

New logo
2011: Our previous logo served us for a good many decade, but all good things need to move with the times, so we revamped it for a fresher, more modern image to represent us for the next few decades. And for the first time, take a look at the one we didn’t choose (pretty, but just too complicated). By the way, have you ever wondered what the blue bubbles on our current logo represent?
2012: We’re keeping it for a good while yet!

Fresh ideas at our annual spring conference
2011: On May 7, 232 of you spent your Saturday with us, hearing and sharing ideas in 16 different sessions, browsing ESL books and taking part in the AGM during lunch. We also added a highly popular Résumé clinic with 1-on-1 advising as a third session in the afternoon and the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) took their first steps too.
2012: Fear not.  This conference returns this coming May and truly does become ‘annual’. Now we focus our time on making it better than ever.  Have you thought about leading a workshop this time around?

An evolving Executive Board
: This year saw us welcoming many-a-new member to the Executive Board.  We’re almost a completely different group of professionals than even the 2009 board, guiding the direction of TESL Toronto’s future. As has always been, its our goal to represent our membership of over 1500; and provide support for your concerns, questions and professional growth. A big thank you to our current president, Akua Joseph, for leading the way.
2012: We’re all dedicated TESL professionals from all sectors and looking for even more new members, especially from the LINC sector. Along with presenting at our Spring conference, apply for our 2012-2013 Executive Board.

Social media abounds
2011: If you’re not part of the social circles, you’re outside them looking in. We’ve had a Facebook group for some time, but it was time to reach more members, so we launched our Facebook page (200 likes as of today!) and Twitter account (217 followers so far!) in late spring. What do you get from them? Information before it goes on to the website, extras that feature our members’ blogs, direct links to online PD and direct communication with us (and those ESL educators we all love).
2012: Take advantage of everything available to you and we’ll make sure to interact as much as possible!

More options for professional development
2011: Whether you knew it before or not, professional development opportunities abound outside of the events that we or TESL Ontario provide in the city. We introduced our PD page and event calendar this year, let you know what’s going on around Toronto, but also online (did you try the Virtual Roundtable Conference, Reform Symposium or Pearson Longman webinars this year?). We also moved from a fall conference that shares the same timeline as TESL Ontario’s annual conference to a series of smaller events every other month (September event with Shelly Terrell, November event with Carolyn Samuel) to give everyone more options and variety.
2012: We’ve got the January event with Fran Marshall coming up and then an exciting March event too.  Plus, there are a bunch of other exciting plans up our sleeves for this year. You’ll love them!

So what else is coming in 2012? We’ll never tell (or we will with plenty of notice).  Happy New Year, TESL Toronto!

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