Shifting Gears

Conference Planning

Ok. I’ve failed to maintain this blog as well as I’d like in recent months (years…), but I feel like I’m starting to get to a place where I can actively reflect on my teaching as well as think critically about my other professional development endeavors.

Things have been a little crazy lately. I got married last weekend, so the last few months have been rather busy with preparing for that. Since that’s finally done, I feel like I have a little more time and energy to put into my professional growth.

I’ve been working with some colleagues in MinneTESOL and the Minnesota Department of Education to organize our fall Minnesota English Language Education (MELEd) Conference. The conference is a merger of the MDE spring ESL, bilingual and migrant education conference and the MinneTESOL fall conference. This is the second year for MELEd, and it’s looking like it might be a big one. We have two stellar keynotes this year: Andrea DeCapua and Stephen Krashen. In addition, we haveĀ tons of great concurrent sessions that will happen over two days.

I really enjoy working with the conference planning for a couple reasons. First, being involved this heavily in the MinneTESOL organization allows me to network with tons of people in the field of ESL. Through my work this year, I have been able to meet and spend time with professionals across various interest sections. It’s really nice to get a broader perspective of the field and our profession. Also, planning the conference allows me to satisfy my desire to organize. The whole planning process has been a lot of work, but it’s so satisfying to work through issues as they arise.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a great co-chair this year, and I’m grateful for her leadership and guidance as I take on the leadership role next year. I feel like we’ve worked really well together, and we’ve done a lot of work to organize materials and make them available for future conference organizers. Google Drive has been such an asset! I don’t know how the previous organizers kept it all together without it!

I’m hoping to write more about my experience in conference planning over the next year.


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