President's Corner

KOTESOL President, Dr. David Shaffer

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New Year's Message

Ringing In 2018 - Dec. 26, 2017

2018 is on the doorstep. It is at this juncture that we commonly look back over the passing year, take stock of how it has been for us, and plan for the coming year. We do this for our lives in general, but do we do it as deliberately for our professional lives?

Let us take some downtime at this threshold of a new year to take inventory of our professional performance in 2017. What went well? What didn’t go as well as we would have liked? What can I, what should I, what will I do in the new year to improve myself as an educator?

Many options are available, and many are provided by KOTESOL. KOTESOL events, large and small, are spread across the calendar year: chapter workshops and conferences, SIG events, the National Conference, and the International Conference. And there are our KOTESOL publications to keep you up to date with ELT: The English Connection (TEC), the Korea TESOL Journal, and KOTESOL Proceedings, all on our website.

But let us not think only of what KOTESOL can do for us; let us think of what we can do for KOTESOL. Our slogan is “Teachers Helping Teachers.” This suggests serving. Consider volunteering to help organize a KOTESOL event; consider presenting at a workshop or conference; consider contributing to one of our publications.

The great thing about this type of service is that in the end, we wind up benefitting from it as much as anyone. Through serving KOTESOL, KOTESOL serves you. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have grown in our profession through KOTESOL. So take a moment, look back, look forward, and see how you can grow through KOTESOL in 2018.

Happy New Year!

President's Message

The English Connection - Winter 2017 Issue

The dust is still settling from our whirlwind of autumn KOTESOL events. September saw our two most active special interest groups holding their biggest events of the year. The Christian Teachers SIG had their annual symposium, “Restorative Approaches in ELT,” at Hadong University, and the Reflective Practice SIG held their “Day of Reflection 2017” at Sookmyung Women’s University with Dr. Thomas S. C. Farrell as the featured speaker. KOTESOL is quite fortunate to have a patron scholar of the caliber of Dr. Farrell. Both events were well received and well attended.

Before the SIG dust had a chance to settle, KOTESOL moved into October to stir up the Korean ELT scene with its largest event of the year: KOTESOL’s annual international conference. The 25th Korea TESOL International Conference and PAC 2017 was extra special for two reasons: It was our 25th KOTESOL Conference (the first was held in 1993), and it was held in conjunction with PAC 2017 and the Asian Youth Forum. Eight hundred attendees had over 200 presentations to choose from over the conference weekend. It is heartwarming to hear so many favorable remarks about the conference from both the attendees and the invited speakers. I would like to congratulate Conference Chair Sean O’Connor and Co-chair Kathleen Kelley as well as their 40-member strong committee for choreographing this performance.

Rounding out the second day of the conference, was KOTESOL’s annual business meeting. Election results were announced and that is why you see me writing the President’s Message this issue. I wish to thank the KOTESOL membership for showing their confidence in me. As I expressed at the ABM, I will strive to my fullest to live up to your expectations. The other elected officers for the coming year are Michael Free, 1st Vice-President; Mike Peacock, 2nd Vice-President; Martin Todd, Secretary; Phillip Schrank, Treasurer; Grace Wang, International Conference Committee Co-chair; and Allison Bill, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair. With this group of officers on the National Council, I am confident that KOTESOL is in good hands and that good things are in store for the coming year.

Also at the ABM, outgoing President Lindsay Herron recognized numerous members for their service to KOTESOL. Here I can mention only a few. Two of the President’s Awards went to Robert Dickey and John Phillips. Outstanding Service Awards went to Phillip Schrank, Sean O’Connor, Gil Coombe, Kara Mac Donald, and Suzanne Bardasz. In addition, a special Career Service Award went to Ingrid Zwaal, and a special Patron Award went to Dr. Kyungsook Yeum. It is gratifying to see so many members contributing so much to KOTESOL.

It is fitting for Lindsay Herron to here have space to say a few words: “It has been a true honor to serve as KOTESOL president for the past two years. Thank you for the privilege! I am delighted to turn the position over to my successor, Dr. David Shaffer – a trusted friend, mentor, and role model who has served the organization in a plethora of leadership positions. KOTESOL couldn't be in better hands. To Dave, I wish a term burgeoning with new opportunities and adventures; to the membership, I send my gratitude and admiration. You are all truly my professional family, my beloved community in Korea, and I look forward to continuing to spend time you as I serve the organization in other roles. I hope to see you at future KOTESOL events!"

Lindsay will not be stepping back; I am certain that she will contribute greatly as Immediate Past President and in additional roles. She will be at our December 3 Leadership Retreat. Hope to see many of you there, too.

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