Meet the MinneTESOL Board!

by Crystal Rose-Wainstock

Do you know your MinneTESOL Executive Board members? Get to know them here! We will introduce a new board member every two weeks!

Darren LaScotte

What is your role on the MinneTESOL Executive Board for 2017?

3RD Vice President and Conference Co-Chair

What are some of your responsibilities in this role?

I serve on the MinneTESOL Executive Board and vote on current happenings. My main responsibilities fall mostly in line with the annual Minnesota English Learner Education Conference. With the 2nd Vice President and Conference Co-Chair, Erin Cary, we plan the ins and outs of the annual conference. This includes securing conference space, food and drink, etc., for the event itself, in addition to creating the conference program and overseeing subcommittees that review proposal submissions, recruit volunteers, technology, items for the silent auction… you name it. If something’s at the conference, Erin and I have surely been involved.

What is your favorite part about being a MinneTESOL member/part of the board?

Are you ready for a cliché? My favorite part about being a MinneTESOL member/ part of the board is –you guessed it– the people. I really enjoy meeting and working with TESOL professional across interest sections and student populations. Through MinneTESOL, I’ve connected with others from across the United States and even had the opportunity to go to the TESOL International Conference. I’m very happy to be a part of such an interconnected organization.

In what capacity do you work with ELLs and the field of TESOL?

I am currently adjunct faculty in the Minnesota English Language Program and in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. I mostly teach English courses to international students, but part of my job is also teacher training in the TESL minor program. In addition to my day job, I also do a lot of volunteer work with the Alliance Française of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Those are of course French language based events/ workshops, but there’s still a connection to second language teaching, which I think is important.

How did you get into the field of TESOL?

I took a somewhat windy path into the field of TESOL… but not as circuitous as others’ (as I have learned)! I completed my Bachelor’s in French Studies and originally aimed to continue school in French and eventually teach at the university-level (in French). Following my BA, I decided to complete a Master’s degree in French linguistics, with a specialization in Teaching French as a Foreign Language at a university in the south of France. My coursework in second language teaching sparked a new interest, and I decided to change course a bit and widen my horizons by beginning a new Master’s in second language education (the MA in TESOL, to be exact). My intent was not to discontinue my work in French, but add English language teaching to my repertoire. Since completing the MA in TESOL, I have been fortunate enough to present at a range of national and international conferences, publish in a few academic journals, and work in a job I love and care about deeply.

Is there anything else you’d like the membership to know about you?

I live in NE Minneapolis with my boyfriend, Michael, and dog, Xander. If you live in the metro area, you might find me at local dog parks and other “hot spots” where dogs are permitted. One thing people find strange, I guess, is that I don’t like cookies (awful little things). But, don’t worry, I’ll make sure there are plenty of them for you all at the annual fall conference.

Categories: Connect | MinneTESOL Board