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November 2016
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From TESOL International Association: Lessons Learned From a Mistake
by Dudley Reynolds, TESOL President, and Rosa Aronson, TESOL Executive Director

“How much you can learn when you fail determines how far you will go into achieving your goals.”

These words by Roy Bennett, public figure from Zimbabwe, never rang as true for TESOL International Association when a few weeks ago, we realized we made a grave mistake that affected several hundred of our global members. 

Due to a technological and human error, many of our international members received a notification from us that erroneously stated that their Convention proposals had been accepted.  Unfortunately, we discovered the mistake much too late. By the time we sent a correction email, members had already shared their joyous news with their colleagues, friends, and families, thus crushing their happiness and sense of professional accomplishments.

As many TESOL members can confirm, having a proposal accepted for the TESOL International Convention is not only a significant step in the careers of TESOL professionals, but may also be a determining factor of whether someone is able to get institutional support to attend the Convention. We acknowledge that this is especially true for our members outside the U.S. and Canada, for whom attending the Convention comes at no small expense.

Knowing that we failed the very professionals for whom we are working, has left an indelible mark on us.  We are deeply sorry for breaking the bond of trust and assure you that we will work hard to earn this trust back. While we realize we cannot turn the clock back, we can learn the hard lessons from our mistake. We want to assure you that we remain committed to our mission and our core values.

We thoroughly investigated the situation and are designing internal guidelines to prevent this mistake from happening again.  And, more importantly, we are reaffirming our commitment to our members and their needs. We realize that we cannot allow expediency to supersede service to our members. We remain committed to individualized and timely communication whenever possible, to examining our programs and actions from varied perspectives, and to transparency before our members, who are our Association.

 

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CATs for Flipped Learning
Humor in the Language Classroom
Tips for Turning Tragedies Into Triumphs
A Letter From TESOL
Quick Tip: More Vibrant Lessons
2017 Summit on the Future of the ELT Profession
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