Meet our President Elect Christine SeebachBack to Blog
Interview with Christine Seebach
Volunteering for NYSTESOL is an honor, a pleasure, and a true commitment. I sat down with Christine, our President-Elect, to ask her why she volunteers.
1. Why did you join NYSTESOL, and subsequently take on a leadership role?
I began to learn about NYS TESOL during my TESOL Master’s program at NYU. Dr. Miriam Eisenstein Ebsworth was my professor. She was very influential throughout our program. It was in our MA TESOL program that she thoroughly promoted NYS TESOL and got many future teachers of ESOL involved. Dr. Eisenstein Ebsworth has been a major leader and participant in NYS TESOL throughout the decades. Another leader who I had the pleasure of meeting at different events is Susanne Marcus. She, too, has been a major leader and participant in NYS TESOL throughout the decades. Both Miriam and Susanne are past presidents of NYS TESOL. Their wealth of knowledge, research, passion, experiences, dedication, and kindness, has inspired me to take on a leadership role. What has also inspired me to take on a second leadership role on our executive board is the expertise, kindness, reliability, and support from our current and past EB members. Our past president Juliette Luther once pointed out: We are called “NYS TESOL” because we are nice.
2. What do you think NYSTESOL's role is in the teaching community? What should it do for members?
This answer will connect to my last response. My perspective of our role in the teaching community is a living theory. As time goes by the education world experiences different phenomena. The phenomena we experience changes with the development of various needs for the 21st Century. As technology, society, and health innovations are created to make the world a better place, the education world must align best practices in educational leadership and best practices in instruction accordingly. In other words, as our purpose as educators develop, we must modify our organization’s role to align with the times in order to best support student achievement.
3. You opted to be VP Pres-elect- a big role- why?
Being elected President-elect of NYS TESOL is an honor. I have acquired even more valuable leadership skills and learned more about the culture of our organization from 3 past presidents. These three most current highly regarded female leaders have been super inspirational. Their experience, research, care, and passion for their student population as well as ESOL educators makes them the backbone of our organization. I would like to serve our community by emulating their best attributes along with my own.
4. What do you want to achieve when you are president?
My mission and vision as president of NYS TESOL for 2023 will focus on the alignment of our goals and sustainable initiatives with an excerpt from the NYS Blueprint for the Success of ELLs: “All teachers are teachers of ELLs.” As our immediate past president Monica Baker has pointed out recently, we will extend our reach to content area educators’ organizations. We aim to support all educators as they effectively teach ELLs. I aim to facilitate ease, enjoyment, and excellence as we connect with professionals in our field.
5. Finally, what do you think are the key things we need to do as an organization this year, next few years?
One effective method in moving forward is to focus on a current mission and vision. We advocate, and have advocated in the past for the equity and support of our students’ achievement. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and its Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) have worked with us for years. It is wise to align our mission and vision with NYSED and OBEWL. In that, the powerful phrase “All teachers are teachers of ELLs.” which can be found in The Blueprint for English Language Learners (The Blueprint) in April of 2014 (NYSED, OBEWL, SUNY, n.d.). This is key in supporting the achievement of ELLs statewide as we support our Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL).