First, let me tell you something: the first blog post is always awkward. We don’t know exactly who we are talking to, if there is, in fact, someone reading this post, and how things really work here. So, in order to break the ice, let me explain how this idea came up and what I am doing here:
I believe that there’s a moment in our careers when we think that we have something (even if it’s a simple thing) that deserves to be shared, or a genuine desire to show what we have been up to lately. You know, teaching can be lonely sometimes.
I spent the last months thinking whether I should create a blog: the pros and cons, the amount of time it would require to maintain and edit it…. and I faced the most common fear: the exposure. I realized that it doesn’t make any sense to be afraid of being exposed, as we are constantly exposing ourselves in the classroom. It was a silly fear, though. And here I am – I finally plucked up the courage to start a blog. Yay!
A few weeks ago we had the Triângulo Mineiro Chapter Launch Event from BRAZ-TESOL, and I would like to share with you my impressions on the event, and give you an overall of the BRAZ-TESOL community as well (if you are not familiar with it yet).
To start, you should know that BRAZ-TESOL was founded in 1986 and is Brazil’s largest association of teachers of English to speakers of other languages. Unfortunately, after almost 5 years working as an English teacher, I only came across the association last year. And I noticed that many other English teachers have never heard about it before. If it’s your case… this post is for you!
I must say that being part of this community opened my eyes to many things related to ELT. When I say that teaching can be lonely, I mean that depending on the context that you teach, you don’t have many opportunities to discuss your expectations, frustrations, and share lessons and ideas with other fellow teachers – and that’s the advantage of joining an association like BRAZ-TESOL. Their slogan (the more we are, the stronger we become) makes total sense.
By joining the association, you can attend events, chats, and webinars, which are about interesting topics that you can certainly benefit from. You also have the opportunity to meet inspiring people all over Brazil.
The International Conference, for instance, happens every two years (check it out: http://braztesol.org.br/internationalconference/).
They have the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that, according to the website, “bring together individuals who share an area of common interest within English Language Teaching, such as pronunciation, translation, culture, teacher education, technology for language learning, and who are eager to exchange ideas, foster professional development, organize events and make things happen”.
And then you may be wondering what is a Regional Chapter. The chapters are groups that organize events on a regional basis. So, on May 26th we had the launch event of Triângulo Mineiro Chapter! It took place in Uberaba (UFTM), and it was, in fact, a really important event for us, mineiros. You may remember that we were in the middle of a nationwide strike, so you can imagine how surprising it was to see many teachers attending the event.
What I liked the most was the welcoming atmosphere and the inspiring talks and sessions that we had. The sad part is that you have to make difficult choices in selecting only one of the concurrent talks to attend. It is the kind of event that you leave the place wanting more, and still need some time to process all the information. I must say that the organization was impeccable (thank you, minders and organizers!).
I think that the duration of talks and plenary sessions are great. If you are used to attending academic events like I am, having a 40 or 50 minutes talk is a blast! Although it is a short time, it makes the event more dynamic.
These events bring teachers together and I believe this is something that our profession needs the most. I felt a sense of belonging that I don’t remember having for a long time.
It may sound cliché, but I can say for sure that associating with BRAZ-TESOL was one of the most important decisions that I’ve made in my career so far. So, I highly recommend it for those who are enthusiastic about ELT. You are not going to regret it!
And the next event is going to happen on October 20th in Uberlândia. Save the date!
For more info:
What about you? Have you ever attended a BRAZ-TESOL event?