Last September, I became the new Lyon region coordinator of TESOL France. I have been teaching for two years full time now, and I was lucky enough to meet really early on members of TESOL France (my former teacher at the University of Grenoble was then president) who really showed me how important these teachers’ associations could be.

Let’s be honest, in France, being an English teacher mostly means that you work for the national education system. Private English teachers are not exactly well-considered, and most of the time, you have to show your passport before getting a job interview (things are actually changing, so let’s keep our fingers crossed).

Next month, on the 9th of March, there will be the first workshop of the year. It will be held in a local school, as the manager is kind enough to lend us a room. The title is Working abroad: From brain drain to brain gain and it will be presented by Aymen Elsheikh, PhD, from Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Aymen himself wrote a few words about this workshop:

Due to globalization and the spread of English as the international language of economy and business, an increasing number of expatriate teachers (those who live and work outside of their home countries) of English are found today around the world. As global patterns of migration and human mobility are increasing, it is imperative to examine and reflect on the lives of teachers in these global contexts if we are to understand the diversity of the teaching and learning processes. In this workshop, I reflect on my own experience as an expatriate teacher from the Periphery (i.e., Sudan) and how the experience has been transformed from “brain drain to a brain gain”. In so doing, I also share findings of an ongoing study which examines the collaboration practices between expatriate English language teachers and teachers from their home countries through involvement in different professional development activities. Throughout the workshop, the participants will be invited to share and reflect on their own experiences as expatriate teachers. The workshop will conclude with discussing challenges and opportunities which result from living and teaching abroad.

I know I will sound stupid and childish, but I am so excited to organize such a workshop!