How was BNTEA created

The Benin National Teachers of English Association (BNTEA) was created in February 2011 by a group of dedicated young English teachers.

The idea came in spring 2010 from Mrs. Rhonda Watson, the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) of the US Embassy in Benin. She made the suggestion during one of the movie sessions that she used to host at her residence with the support of the Educational Advisor of the Embassy, Mr. Ulrich Demagbo.

Rhonda</span and Ulrich wanted to invest in promoting the English language in Benin through the capacity building of English teachers and many other activities such as movie and reading sessions at the American Cultural Center (ACC). So, they asked some teachers attending the movie sessions to help them gather more teachers for Webinar sessions and Workshops. In summer 2010, Mrs. Watson officially launched the first series of webinars, and in fall 2010, she initiated the first large workshop facilitated by Mrs. Susan Strand, an English Language Fellow from Lome, Togo. There was a very positive feedback from the sixty (60) teachers who participated in the workshop and webinars. Soon after, in December 2010, a second workshop was organized with the same facilitator.

During the second workshop, the idea of establishing a teachers association was discussed by all the participants. A steering committee was put in place to draft the constitution and bylaws of the future association. In the process, a member of Senegal’s teachers association was invited to share their experience with Benin English teachers. Things went quite fast; in February 2011, the governing constitution and bylaws of Benin’s association were adopted by a Constituent Assembly which also elected the very first executive and controlling boards of the new English teachers organization. It was the beginning of a beautiful but challenging adventure for BNTEA.