Teacher Education Experience

Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, 2013 – 2015

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What has the experience taught me about teaching?

As an instructional designer, I have learned how to engage and connect adjunct and full-time faculty in professional development series and sessions offered by KCELT.  Taking into consideration their busy schedules, I have discovered that offering hybrid courses has been the most efficient way to accommodate faculty from Kirkwood’s two city campuses and multiple regional centers throughout Eastern Iowa.  My two years at Kirkwood have taught me that connecting faculty with similar professional development goals is the most rewarding outcome.  With that outcome in mind, my role is to help facilitate learning, especially by making sure that it is in line with research.

What has the experience taught me about myself?

My experience at Kirkwood has helped increase my confidence as an educator and as a researcher.  Previous to this job, I have often underestimated my abilities to provide solutions based on a combination of research and informal observation.  My experience has Kirkwood has reinforced my dedication to the principles of instructional design, based on Wiggins & McTighe and my education at UMBC.  Through conversations with my supervisors and peers, I have discovered that my work ethic is driven by my keen sense of responsibility and achievement and that my working relationships are developed and maintained by my high degree of empathy.  It is this empathy and respect for my colleagues that keep my work ethic in check.  I do not do the work just for myself but for the greater good of the college.

English Language Fellowship in Russia, 2006 – 2007

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What has the experience taught me about teaching?

This fellowship gave me many opportunities to teach a large number of pre-service and in-service English language teachers in one classroom.  My largest audience in one hour numbered over 100 in Kazan.  In cases like this, I learned how to balance lecture with short discussions followed by brief Q&A sessions.  I also learned that English language teaching in Russia is different than in Japan and Korea in that learning through drama and literature play a bigger role.  I was surprised that many Russian English language learners could recite and reference British and American authors more frequently than their Japanese and Korean peers, based on my experiences.

What has the experience taught me about myself?

This fellowship taught me how to work on my own with a budget provided by the US State Department, with guidance from the Regional English Language Office in Moscow, and with logistical help from my Russian counterparts in Samara.  It taught me that I am able to fulfill my responsibilities in an organized and efficient manner.  The experience has also taught me how to accept and reject proposals from colleagues and counterparts in accordance to the mission of the fellowship and in proportion to my work-life balance.  This fellowship was the first position that clearly showed me that I was able to achieve what I set out to do with positive results.

Sookmyung Women’s University in Korea, 2003 – 2006

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What has the experience taught me about teaching?

As a EFL Methodology & Practicum instructor, I learned that the best way to teach is to practice what you preach, specifically content-based instruction and the use of oral proficiency-building techniques known as classroom interactions.  Before I started this job, I already favored this teaching approach.  All instructors in this program were required to use this approach, so I was very happy to develop my skills in addition to my knowledge of content-based instruction and classroom interactions.  Because I taught EFL Methodology for three years immediately after graduate school, I was able to acquire a deeper understanding of other teaching approaches, which enabled me to be successful in my subsequent teacher education experiences.

What has the experience taught me about myself?

This experience helped my appreciate what I learned about intercultural competence from my MA coursework and my previous experiences in Japan.  I learned that my classroom management skills that I acquired in Japan could not be applied to my classrooms in Korea based on cultural differences.  Because this TESOL Certificate Program is a partnership between Korean and American universities, I learned how English language education is perceived differently from local (Korean) and American academic cultures.  Most importantly this experience has guided my research interest concerning the intercultural competence of English language teachers.

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