The Tuzla English Teachers’ Association (TETA) is quite young. However, it has already proven to be very fruitful. What adds more weight to its success are the challenging circumstances in which TETA was born.
Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) is a country with a very complicated political system, and the educational system is no simpler. A national ministry of education does not exist: instead there are thirteen-one representing each of the two entities of Bosnia & Herzegovina, e.g., the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, one representing Brčko District, plus ten more ministries at the cantonal level in the Federation, each with a high degree of autonomy. In this scenario, previous teachers’ associations, organized at the entity level in attempt to bring together teachers from different cantons, proved to be dysfunctional.
Aware of teachers’ needs and prospects yet tired of waiting for someone else to take action, a handful of enthusiastic English teachers in Tuzla decided to establish an association at a more local level, where plans might be easier to carry out. This has turned out to be an excellent idea. To date, TETA has been involved in the organization of several events, including workshops and seminars for teachers in Tuzla Canton, participation in international conferences, and establishing partnerships with other English language teachers’ associations in the region. All of this has been accomplished in quite a short period of time and on a very limited budget.
Our fellow teachers value that we are trying to address the most relevant issues facing our professional community. The teachers themselves share their own positive experiences and ideas and in turn, TETA gathers feedback on what topics they want covered in the future seminars. These events also provide professional development opportunities for teachers to give presentations and/or facilitate workshops. For example, teachers with less presentation experience are partnered with more experienced fellow teachers, who usually have formal training.
TETA’s goal is to set an example which other areas might wish to follow in order to gradually build a network of associations connecting English language teaching professionals in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
President of the association: Dijana Marković Hajdarhodžić
Vice-presidents of the association: Asmir Dorić and Lejla Šabanović
Members of the Board: Asmir Dorić, Dzenan Mukuć, Azra Muhedinović, Elvira Hodzić, Sanja Berberović, Lejla Šabanović, Azra Smajić and Dijana Marković Hajdarhodžić
Members of the Supervisory Board: Sabina Skenderović, Almir Mustafić, Arijana Mulabećirović, Elmira Redžić and Jasmina Stuhli