I just returned from the JALT conference with a theme of diversity. Dianne Larsen Freeman was one of the plenary speakers and one of the few who in my experience spoke about the theme which in this time in lives is a matter of life and death for many people. I last saw Dianne at TESOL Russia where we had both been invited to do back to back plenaries. When we met in Russia she did not say “Good to see you; how are you?” but rather “John, where are your sandals?” since till that time I was noted for wearing sandals. I describe why in the introduction to my new book Small Changes in Teaching, Big Results in Learning.
I also caught up with Sandra McKay who was the editor of the TESOL Quarterly for many years, some overlapping with my term as TESOL President. I told her that as TESOL President, Program Chair of the 1976 TESOL Conference in NY and as President of the New York State affiliate i had not devoted as much time as she had as editor of the TESOL Quarterly. She was so thorough, so supportive and so gracious–such service!
I was reminded of the service members of TESOL and the affiliates put in when I met L. Ohashi the person who led the team that organized the Shizuoka conference last week end. All selfless, dedicated volunteers.
I was thrilled to see teachers I had worked with during the last 30 ish years in Japan and elsewhere. I am attaching a photo of the author of a graded reader that I used in Small Changes in Teaching, Big results in Learning. When the person taking the photograph said “The book is upside down.” Allison, said, “Right; this is the way I am sure John wants it.” TRY THE OPPOSITE.
Enjoy, enjoy. And when you have a chance salute professionals who spend so much time free to support us all.
All the best.