February 2022

February 2022 Newsletter

A Message from TESOL about Ukraine

On behalf of the TESOL Board of Directors and staff, we share the world’s distress and grief regarding the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is our strong hope that this volatile situation will soon come to a peaceful resolution.

TESOL stands with organizations, educators, and learners who wish to change the world through education.

For our members who have asked what they can do to help our Ukrainian colleagues and other civilians caught in this crisis, we offer the following list of professional aid organizations:


UNICEF is supporting health, nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation, and protection for children and families caught in the conflict in Ukraine.

The International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee is preparing to provide critical aid to displaced families affected by conflict in Ukraine.

International Committee of the Red Cross

The Switzerland-based international organization seeks to help people affected by the conflict and support the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Voices of Children

The charitable foundation of this organization is helping to provide psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by the Ukrainian conflict and helps them to overcome consequences of armed conflict.

We are stronger together. WE ARE TESOL.

Amber Crowell Kelleher, CAE, MBA
TESOL Executive Director

Gabriela Kleckova, PhD
TESOL President


Advocacy Needed Now!


A bill has been introduced in the MN Senate (SF3369) and MN House (HF3580) that proposes the following:

  • increasing EL funding permanently
  • funding for SLIFE
  • increasing accountability in the use of compensatory funds for EL students
  • establishing an EL micro-credential for administrators
  • establishing an EL micro-credential for general education teachers
  • establishing a state-wide multilingual parent and family advisory council through MDE

Amazing! Now, what can you do?

  1. Find contact info for your elected officials here.
  2. Reach out by email to your state elected officials asking them to support this bill with this letter.
  3. Tweet your support of the bills using #mnleg.

Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Upcoming MinneTESOL Events


In January, MinneTESOL Interest Section and Standing Committee leaders met to plan their year, including events, workshops, and other ways to support our members.

The first event of the year is the SLIFE Spring Fling (virtual) on Sat. Apr. 2, 9-12:00. Keynote Jan Stewart will discuss “Bridging Two Worlds: Preparing Teachers for Trauma-Sensitive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms.” There is a networking component and EL/School psychologist panel as well. Three CEUs are available, including mental health. To get on the MinneSLIFE email contact list so you get notification of events, send an email to:  [email protected]

Information about other events will be shared as it is available.


MinneTESOL Journal Featured Article

We welcome our first youth author, Sumia Sabrie, senior at Mankato East High School and PSEO student at South Central College. In her article, “The Academic Struggles of Somali Families,” she addresses the public schools’ historical lack of cultural and linguistic responsiveness to Somali families and how hiring teachers of color and cultural mediators have helped bridge the divide

Find these and all other articles in the current issue of the MinneTESOL Journal.

MinneTESOL journal call for papers

Now is your chance to publish an article in the upcoming MinneTESOL Journal, a practitioner academic online journal. See Writing for the MinneTESOL Journal for more information.

Journal submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Email the senior editors to learn more about submitting work: [email protected]

Get to know the Executive Board

Name:  Kristina Robertson

Position at MinneTESOL: First Vice President

Teaching context: I work in the District Multilingual Program and Equity Leader in Roseville Area Schools. Our school district enrollment is 15% identified English learners (EL) with 58 languages represented. The top five languages spoken are Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Somali, and Nepali. I have been with Roseville for seven years and love working with our talented team of English Language Development (ELD)/bilingual teachers, an amazing team of cultural liaisons.

Why you got into ESL: I started teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka. I remember the first day I taught a lesson. My students were shy and I made them come outside to do a mingling activity. I was giddy and excited – as I looked up at the blue sky I thought, “This is awesome!!  I could do this forever.”  I returned to the U.S. and got my masters in TESOL and K12 ESL teaching license at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT.  I learned a really reflective practice for language instruction and continue to approach teaching and leadership with curiosity and compassion. I love empowering students and families through language and access.

Current project: Survival?  Is there anything else we can do these days except respond to pandemic problems? Honestly I feel like my main project is focusing on social-emotional well-being for myself, my staff, our students, and families. I firmly believe that it is an honor to be an educator AND the only way to continue in this role is to identify our own needs, take the breaks we need, and advocate for better systemic solutions.

I’d say two of my biggest TESOL focused projects are the continued development of the Dual-language Immersion (DLI) program in Roseville Area High Schoo, and multilingual parent communication and partnership development.  At the heart of my work is a drive to implement systemic change and improve academic outcomes and opportunity access for multilingual students. I really look forward to my work with MinneTESOL professionals this year!


TESOL 2022: Hybrid This Year 

The TESOL 2022 International Convention and English Language Expo will be a hybrid event this year, with both online and in-person events in Pittsburgh, PA. It will be held March 22-25. Registration is still open!

Past Newsletters
Letter from the President Salam – Greetings of peace – to you all, Welcome to Bilingual/Multilingual Advocacy month! In the spirit of this month, I would like to share with…

Letter from the President Salam – Greetings of peace – to you all, I would like to take this opportunity to share some topics that have been on my heart…

MELEd Conference News Our 10th annual conference will be held November 16-18, 2023 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. The Minnesota English Learner Education (MELEd) Conference is a partnership between MinneTESOL…

Nominations are now open for two annual awards. Award nominees must be a current member of MinneTESOL.  Nominations will be considered by a committee of MinneTESOL Interest Section and Standing…

Our 10th annual conference will be held November 16-18, 2023 at the Saint Paul Rivercentre. The Minnesota English Learner Education Conference is a partnership between MinneTESOL and the Minnesota Department…

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2024 MELEd will take place at RiverCentre Nov 21-23, 2024
Registration Opens in September