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A Year of Living Positively-Day 274

It has been a fine day. I handled some correspondence and listened to news in the morning.

I got up late, around eight o’clock after another disturbed night. One thing is that, since it is not very humid any more, I need to get up at night to pass a lot of water. I hope I do not evolve into one of those people with a loose bladder.

I made it to the KOTESOL Chapter meeting in good time, around fifteen minutes early. Fortunately, one of the other officers also arrived early. I got acquainted with the two guest speakers and some of the newcomers. We had a good turnout with about 20 participants, a few among them being new. One of them just joined officially as a member yesterday after communicating with me via our email service. The discussions were presented and lead very well, and the topics were interesting and informative. One person talked about “self-efficacy”, which is along the vein of positive thinking, as applied particularly to teaching English. The other speaker talked about professional development and the use of webinars for that purpose. They were new speakers with respect to our chapter’s experience, which was an accomplishment.

For our purposes in this blog, let me give a summary of the talk on “self-efficacy”. The speaker defined it as, “a person’s belief in their ability to accomplish a specific task or goal.” He outlined four main factors: physiological factors, social persuasion, modeled experience, and mastery experiences. The first is probably obvious to you. The second regards positive feedback, encouragement and acknowledgement of accomplishments/ rewards. The third is learning by example in various forms. The last factors is defined thusly, “When you accomplish something and you believe that your success came from your own work and abilities.” Teachers should have this belief and they should work to provide opportunities and help students realize mastery of knowledge and abilities.

I am not sure how I will be perceived socially, owing to many obstacles and troubles in the complex social environment from which I emerged, Vancouver. For that reason, I felt a little unsure as to how I would be perceived at first, but I feel that I was accepted and appreciated in the end. I think my own team of fellow officers has had feelings uncertainty about the response from the membership to my personality, and lack of confidence in my leadership. They are a little on the conservative side although they profess to be liberals. The success of my hosting and facilitating assured them, I think, for we summed up the event as a success. They will get used to me and grow to trust me. I have decided to offer my services as President for another year should they want them. The elections will be in November. I believe there will be no opposition to me running again, and I see no contender in sight.

Our local secretary has been good at promoting our Chapter over the internet. Because of that, and the fine work of previous executives at organizing conferences and symposia, and promoting the Chapter, we are maintaining a solid membership of 150, much more than the size of the membership in 2007 when I first came around. Maintaining the level of membership has been my biggest concern. More people are signing up, and several have indicated that they are planning to attend the organization’s international conference in Seoul in early October. It seems that we have become a mainstay of the expat teachers community in our region. Rather than being unknown to many, and regarded as a fringe element, we are now seen as a fixture of expat life. We are widely known and have developed a fine reputation mostly as a professional development resource, and a part of the support network.

As usual, we took several participants to a local restaurant where there is a mixed Western and Asian buffet with wine. This time, we mostly discussed teaching experiences and employer relations. It was a good atmosphere. We parted after a couple of hours.

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