By Beth Evans
A few months ago, in the before Covid days, I drove to New Hampshire with my daughter to have her take a test. The woman who checked her in greeted me and asked me how I was. I thought she was just friendly. Turns out, I met her at NNETESOL. More than once.
Another incident: My department’s lead teacher, who lives an hour outside of Burlington, where I live and teach, asked me how it was that someone who lives on her road in Jeffersonville, where only about six houses stand, knew who I was. She had just met this woman the week before, and when she told her where she worked, the woman asked if she knew me. “I live here and I didn’t know her!”
The answer again, is NNETESOL.
I joined this organization on a whim, when a new colleague twisted my arm, told me to leave my kids at home and take a Saturday to go to a conference in New Hampshire. It was good, she said. You need to meet some people, she said.
So I got up at 3 in the morning, was picked up at my house and joined the minivan ride to my first NNETESOL conference.
Where I volunteered to be webmistress.
I knew nothing about it. But I told them I was willing to learn, and they handed me the binder and told me to get started.
My time on the board (with an “official” one year hiatus, in which I continued to help without the title) has stretched out 14 years. I have played every position on the board but state rep. And for this, I am eternally grateful to the membership, for helping me grow and learn and stretch as an educator.
I have become a seasoned presenter. I have extended my professional circle to include members of TESOL because I have gone to several conferences to represent you, the membership. I’ve shared successes and frustrations. And I have had some really wonderful conversations with people I see again and again, year after year.
But now, it’s time to move on.
I have so many memories tied up with this organization. It seems really strange to be ending this relationship.
So let’s not say goodbye. I cherish the time I have spent here, and I look forward to hearing from you even after I move to Illinois this summer. So choose your ending:
Hasta luego. (I’d say it more fervently, but I’m frustrated making upside-down exclamation points!)
See you soon, my friends.