We need an interpreter trainer community
If you know me at all, you know I keep busy. In my professional life, in addition to working for varied clients as a trainer, interpreter, and translator, I also volunteer for several professional associations. Currently I am interim secretary for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, webinar host for the Interpreter Trainers webinar series for that same organization, and conference chair for the 2018 New England Translators Association conference. And now I am running for a position on the Board of Directors of the American Translators Association. It's a long shot and I am up against three incumbents. Nevertheless, I put time into my candidate statement, taking care to ponder why I volunteer so much.
For me, it comes down to connection and community. As I wrote in my statement (to be published in September in the ATA Chronicle), I didn't think of myself as a translator or interpreter until I started getting involved with NETA and the ATA and was surrounded by other professionals in the beginning or middle of their careers. Before that I simply translated, worked in translation, or any variation thereof. Connection with fellow professionals helped me understand the larger context of the work. It also opened up many interesting paths, empowering me to teach others.
For years I have wanted to start a community for interpreter trainers, regardless of interpreting subfield or location. I tried one on LinkedIn and an early social network called Ning, but it never stuck. As I worked on my goals for the ATA Board position, I decided to give it another try, and whether or not the ATA voting members want me as a Director, I've decided to keep this as a goal. It would be an open, non-paying site, created for the purpose of sharing information, upholding standards, and maintaining consistency while allowing for individual creativity and vision. Facebook seems to be the obvious choice at this point, since so many of us are on it and using it for professional purposes. Unless I find an existing strong network, I want to make this a reality by the end of the year. Stay tuned for news on this.