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Student Spotlight: Jerry, MS in TESOL

Graduate Student Appreciation Week Student Spotlight: Jerry, MS in TESOL

Jerry is an international student from China enrolled in the master’s in TESOL program. Prior to coming to Warner, Jerry taught Mandarin Chinese and English in Kenya and Cambodia. In China, he also worked as an English teacher in a public school and an English interpreter at the Supreme People’s Court of China.

As a child, I had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. I also believe in the transformative power of education—I see teaching as a means of positively impacting people's lives—and I am naturally drawn to this profession. As an extroverted, sociable, and positive person, I believe teaching is a career that suits my personality well.

Why Warner?
The Warner School is known for providing high-quality education to individuals who aspire to make a positive impact in their respective fields. I chose Warner because its mission aligns with my values and aspirations. Education is a powerful tool that can be used to promote social justice and improve people's lives, and I am committed to working toward these goals. The Warner School will provide me with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to make a meaningful difference. Furthermore, the Warner School's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion was also a significant factor in my decision to attend. I appreciate the school's efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds can thrive and learn from one another.

What have you enjoyed most about Warner?
There are many things I have enjoyed about my time at Warner. First and foremost, I have appreciated the quality of the faculty and their commitment to providing an excellent educational experience. I have learned so much from my professors, who are experts in their fields and always willing to go above and beyond to help their students. I have also enjoyed the sense of community and collaboration at Warner. Everyone I have met—from my fellow students to the staff and administration—has been incredibly welcoming and supportive. There's a real sense that we're all in this together, working toward a common goal of becoming better educators and making a positive impact in our respective fields. Additionally, I have enjoyed the diversity of perspectives and experiences among my peers, with whom I have learned so much about different backgrounds and perspectives. I have grown as a person and as an educator as a result. Overall, I enjoyed growing and learning in a supportive and collaborative environment. I am part of a community of educators committed to making a difference in the world, and that's an inspiring and motivating feeling.

What are highlights of your student teaching experiences?
I have genuinely enjoyed my student teaching journey. This semester, I did my last student teaching placement at Twelve Corners Middle School (TCMS) in Brighton. I believe I have contributed to the TCMS community by using my power and effort in meaningful ways. Highlights of my student teaching experience there include taking the initiative to help the school faculty organize Asian cultural activities during the Lunar New Year, which helped promote inclusivity and cultural awareness. Additionally, I collaborated with my cooperating teachers to successfully plan and execute the celebration of World Hijab Day. This event aimed to promote respect for students' religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Another highlight was delivering a Chinese calligraphy class in all six-grade social studies classes, which allowed me to share my culture and language with the students. I received high praise from the teachers I worked with and even received an offer to stay at the school as a building substitute teacher after I completed my student teaching. I feel honored to have made a positive impact on the TCMS community.

What hands-on, experiential learning experiences have you gained at Warner?
Warner has given me numerous opportunities to engage in hands-on, experiential learning. One example is the student-centered class activities designed to help me hone my teaching skills. I appreciate the emphasis on celebrating and respecting each student's unique background and culture, which has helped me develop a more inclusive and culturally responsive teaching approach. I'm grateful for the practical and applicable experiences I've gained at Warner, which have prepared me well for my future career as a language teacher.

What are your future career goals and plans?
Thanks to my excellent education and training at Warner, I feel confident and prepared to pursue my career goals. I've received several job offers and have decided to relocate to Arizona, where I will specialize in teaching dual language immersion programs. My goal is to continue positively impacting education and fulfill Warner's mission of promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in education. I'm excited about the opportunities and look forward to the challenges and rewards of being a language teacher in the United States. I believe my unique cultural background and previous teaching experience in different countries and regions will be an additional asset to the school community I will join.