Conferences are great opportunities to keep in touch with the latest trends in ones working field. As an EFL teacher, I had the opportunity to attend TESOL conferences in three opportunities, first as an attendee and later as a presenter. In each of them I had something to learn and share with my colleagues.
At the first time I attended a TESOL conference, everything was new and I was overwhelmed with so many sessions which dealt with the most diverse aspects of the teaching life. The attendee experience really helped me and my coworker Erika Oya to have the guts and apply as presenters on the following year.
Being a presenter on an International Conference, such as TESOL, brings a new perspective to the professional development path, since you really feel as being part of the ESL/EFL teaching community. That is, from the moment we have the experience of presenting internationally we are showing the world our work. Thus, it is really flattering to receive, later on, an e-mail from someone who lives in Saudi Arabia complementing you for the nice presentation and asking for further information about the teaching aspect you presented. It is, also, at that moment that you start to build a professional network that will help you, back home, to keep in touch with the EFL community around the world.
Therefore, on my third time attending TESOL I could see that our Institution is well recognized among the TESOL community and people who see someone holding a presentation under the bi-national center CASA THOMAS JEFFERSON are guaranteed to experience great works and excellence in presentations. Once again, I could feel the power of exchanging teaching experiences with the community and I also confess that I felt more at ease this time.
Exchanging teaching experiences and sharing knowledge among colleagues from all over the world are, in my opinion, the greatest lessons learned by attending and presenting on a TESOL Conference. After such experience, we do not see things inside our small world anymore. There is an entire world to explore and share and it is part of our job to keep updated so our students can also profit from the experiences we had.