By Brandon Juarez, MEd
Assistant Professor, College of Education
On February 25, I had the privilege and honor to be the keynote speaker at the central region AZ TESOL mini-conference hosted at Arizona State University – West Campus. The title of my speech was: “TESOL for the Modern World: Strategies for Student Success: Communication, Social Presence and Instructional Assessments.”
Two major themes/moments were influential and shaped the wonderful experience. First, the chance to speak to over 150 Peruvian K-12 teachers was a true blessing. Many of the visiting Peruvian teachers shared personal stories, educational goals and instructional strategies that each plans to bring back to their schools to implement. It was an honor to be a small part in their professional development and offer several educational technology tools that support pedagogy and rapport building.
Second, I had the chance to meet several wonderful local educators who share many instructional best practices. The opportunity to network and collaborate with teacher educators around the Valley proved to be a wonderful theme from the conference.
As I reflect on this experiences, I am excited that in addition to modeling this experience for my teacher candidates, this has opened up many doors for further scholarship opportunities. For example, I am communicating with two colleagues at different postsecondary institutions to offer additional support regarding the components of my keynote address. It is so fun to work and collaborate with professional teacher educators and establish networks of support that lend to offering best practices and personal experiences.
Overall, the opportunity to be the keynote speaker is a professional experience that I will always cherish and value. Education is a small world and I am so proud to have the opportunity to meet, inspire and support local and global educators.
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More about Brandon:
Brandon began his journey in education as a coach, teacher and athletic director in a Phoenix K-8 school, serving primarily in the middle school segment of the school. Brandon began his position at Grand Canyon University as full-time online faculty in August 2012 and expanded to the College of Education as an adjunct faculty on GCU’s main campus in the spring 2014. He received a promotion to manage a College of Education full-time online faculty team in April 2013. He now serves as an assistant professor at GCU. In his spare time, he enjoys spending outdoor time with his wife and two children.