Why Uncharted TESOL?

New School MATESOL graduate Roshii Jolly shares her thoughts on the name and background of this blog. 

As a bunch of us TESOL-ers brainstormed ideas about the name for a new blog, I was struck by the serendipity of the situation. Here we were at the TESOL 2015 convention, infused with ideas of a single theme “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges.” Some of our paths had crossed in the past while studying together, others of us were meeting for the first time I was struck by the diversity of our backgrounds and current teaching contexts and wondered what would happen if one expanded this idea of a global connection through a novel blog. A blog that could invite both the novice and the experienced, the excited and the jaded to write about things unexplored and uninterrupted by social change. Open to all teachers across the world. What would happen if we went beyond just our personal blogs and points of view to partake of a larger uncharted venture?

And so it was born. The name “Uncharted TESOL.”

Someone young but wise once told me, “It’s not enough to ask questions. It’s important to ask the right question.”

Apparently he was right. The answers came and so did the feedback – instant and positive.

For me personally, its birth was a culmination of two years of reflective study on my way to earning an MATESOL from The New School as well as from intense dialogues at three TESOL conventions.

Just like a mother pregnant with her first born, unsure of what to expect, (despite Dr. Spock), I felt a sudden sense of responsibility. It was like naming an unborn child mindfully aware of his or her future mission. Words and names have power. And blogging is no different if one is to ascribe it a unique identity and protect its precious ideology, which is …what emerges from the writings, will be uniquely relevant and useful in the 21st century.

When I graduated in 2012, armed with big dreams, I knew I was entering an uncharted path. And on that path I was privileged to meet graduates intent on not only nurturing their individual interests but also in collaborating with others.

In the experimental and progressive spirit of John Dewey and The New School, I imagined the shape and future of a blog that could be a platform for an exchange of ideas but also an invitation to guest bloggers to take full responsibility for expression. My hope is that our words and experiences will resonate meaningfully and possibly impact each other in unknown ways. My hope is that we can collaborate and navigate uncharted paths to find meaning and purpose in the rapidly evolving field of TESOL.

At the risk of sounding utopian, I hope that at a critical juncture in shared global history, our creative written expressions will somehow find their way into the classrooms and communities we teach, bringing with them much needed positive change.