FAQs

F.A.Q. for Future Executive Board Members

1.    What is the Executive Board (EB)?

The EB constitutes the leadership of NYS TESOL. The leaders are volunteers who have been elected by the members of our organization.

2. How does someone become a member of the EB?

TESOL professionals in New York State who are recognized for their enthusiastic commitment to the field are nominated by NYS TESOL members to run for the EB election. An individual may also self-nominate Elections are held in early fall and results are announced publicly at the Annual Fall Conference.

3. What are the benefits of being a NYS TESOL EB member?

Being a NYS TESOL EB member has many benefits. EB members make an active and direct contribution to both NYS TESOL and the profession as a whole. EB members are influential in how NYS TESOL advances its mission. Being a member of the EB is an important indication of one's commitment to the profession, and the cooperative leadership skills gained and honed through participation are invaluable in your professional life. In addition, being a member of the EB helps to expand your professional network. EB members are not financially compensated for their positions, they have registration fees waived for NYS TESOL events and are reimbursed for travel costs related to official EB activities.

4. How long is a term on the EB?

The regular term on the EB is 2 years for members who are not officers. After 2 years, the member of the board must step down from the EB for at least 1 year. This individual is encouraged to remain an active member of NYS TESOL. If, after that 1 year, the member wants to run for a position again on the EB, this individual may be nominated or self-nominate for the next ballot. The term for the President-Elect is 3 years in total, this term begins with the position of President-Elect, then President, then 1 year as Immediate Past President.

5. How often and where do EB Members meet?

Meetings are held once a month, on a Saturdays, and meeting times may vary. Most meetings are held at Teacher's College at Columbia University, but some meetings are held at other locations in New York, or at a NYS TESOL-sponsored event. Two annual meetings are held at the fall conference venue. EB members are not required to attend all meetings in person, they can also connect online via Go To Meeting.

6. How is an EB meeting conducted?

An agenda is set for every meeting by the President, and is made available in advance for review. Meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/roberts-rules-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html)

In general, committees meet for about an hour before the general EB meeting. Committee meetings may also take place outside of regular meeting hours, either by phone, or online. The general EB meeting includes approval of minutes, highlights of officers' and committee reports, and any new business. Breakfast and lunch are provided, and travel is reimbursed.

7. What are the committees of the EB?

The Executive Board is comprised of 6 standing committees:

1. Annual Conference

2. Finance

3. Communication

4. Outreach

5. Membership

6. Advocacy


8. When will I know the schedule of EB meeting dates?

The annual schedule is proposed by the President at the first EB meeting, held on the first or second Saturday of December. This meeting is the most critical, as it is the first meeting with the new elected Executive Board and  includes a Leadership Workshop. All members should attend.

9. Does every EB member have to be on a committee?

Yes, all EB members will chair or serve on one of the Board's committees. EB members are encouraged to collaborate, so committee participation or work in groups or teams can be expected.

10. Are there other events I will have the opportunity to attend as an EB member?

Yes, the presence of NYS TESOL's EB members enhances NYS TESOL sponsored events. The EB encourages its members to participate in NYS TESOL sponsored events.Often times, there may be occasions for an EB member to represent NYS TESOL at an event or a gathering outside of NYS TESOL.

11. What is the difference between a voting and a non-voting member of the EB?

Only elected EB members have the right to vote on action items. In addition to elected EB members, there are some non-voting individuals involved in the ongoing activities of NYS TESOL. Some of them participate in EB meetings from time to time to keep abreast of the latest developments of concern to our constituents, or to report an update to the whole EB on a topic they've been researching.

12. Can I choose the committee I'd like to join once I am a member of the EB?

Once recruited, new EB members are asked what their strengths and interests are with regard to committee work, and their responses are taken into consideration based on the needs of the Board. Their responses do not guarantee their participation on a particular committee. Circumstances may vary when it comes to joining or being assigned to a particular EB committee.

13. Will I be expected to work individually or always as part of a group or committee?

Much of your work on the EB will involve group/committee work. Important decisions are made by consensus, and important projects are executed by collective effort. Often, you will be responsible for completing tasks individually to bring back to your group/committee for discussion, revision, and ultimate contribution to the larger task or project at hand.

14. Other than regular attendance at EB meetings, how much time can I expect to devote to NYS TESOL as an EB member?

Keeping up with committee projects and maintaining regular communication with EB members during the week may average about 2 to 5 hours weekly. There are slower times and times when greater participation is needed, dependent on your role on the EB. Winter is the time when newly elected EB members are trained for participation on the EB. The spring season can also be a very busy time due to events held by our SIGS and Regions. The fall season leading up to the annual fall conference tends to be one of the busier times.

15. How often will I receive and respond to NYS TESOL-related emails?

Board members will regularly receive NYS TESOL-related emails, as this is our most efficient way of communicating. It is expected that EB members will respond to emails within a 48-hour window, though occasion may arise where a response is needed more urgently.  Executive Board members must conduct NYS TESOL business on the official NYS TESOL email provided by the organization .

16. What happens if I have an emergency and cannot attend an EB meeting?

We recognize we all lead busy lives and emergencies occur. Members are asked to notify an EB officer as soon as possible via email, text, or phone should they have to unexpectedly miss a meeting. The expectation is that after the missed EB meeting, the member will read the minutes and contact another Board member for further information. There may be occasions when an EB member knows in advance of a meeting absence. This should be cleared with the President, as missing 1 or 2 meetings is at the discretion of the President. Should 3 (three) EB meetings be missed, the member may be asked to resign their position on the EB or the seat may be vacated.

16. What are the geographic areas (Regions) in the state that NYS TESOL represents?

NYS TESOL has 6 geographical regions:

1. Buffalo

2. Capital District

3. Hudson Valley

4. Long Island

5. New York City

6. Rochester/Syracuse.

17. What does NYS TESOL do in each region?

NYS TESOL seeks active members who volunteer as leaders in their respective regions. These regional leaders organize local events encouraging professional development and seek to develop membership in their areas. The regional leaders may also be asked to represent NYS TESOL at other professional events in their areas.  The EB has a Regions Coordinator and an Assistant Regional Coordinator to support all regional leaders.

18. What are the various interest groups within NYS TESOL?

Interest groups are called Special Interest Groups, referred to as SIGs. These 9 groups are based upon areas of interest to our membership.

The SIGS are:

1. Adult Education

2. Applied Linguistics

3. Bilingual Education

4. Higher Education

5. Elementary Education

6. Secondary Education

7. Special Education

8. Teacher Education

9. Teaching English Internationally.