“Having been a classroom teacher of English for L1 English speakers earlier in my professional life, I felt I had some foundation on which I could build a new career working with English language learners. After a few informal sessions with English-learning friends, though, I realized that, while I could get by based on my prior experience, I would need to learn much more about the specific issues ELLs face if I really wanted to serve these students' needs fully.
I am truly grateful, then, that I was accepted to a summer term of the TESOL Certificate Program (TCP). Especially meaningful were the individualized guidance and instruction I received from my Classroom Practices teacher Yuna Seong throughout the online and onsite portions of the program and from my teaching mentor Frank Corva, starting from the first day we met on campus and had to prepare for our weekly practicum teaching. Not only did I get to study alongside a diverse group of fellow educators and language lovers from all over the world, to learn from genuinely supportive teachers, and to teach a fantastic bunch of students in the Community Language Program, but I was also able to enter the workforce as an ESL instructor just a couple of months after completing the program.
In the summer of 2020, after having taught ESL for an academic year at Baruch College in Manhattan, I was invited to return to Teachers College as a Post-Certificate Teaching Assistant (PCTA)—and what a great opportunity to continue learning. As a PCTA, preparing all the lessons for the five-week, sixty-hour course at the Community Language Program was challenging in the best way. Thanks to the guidance of a doctoral fellow and the full staff of the Community Language Program, I learned new skills that I've relied on in my teaching and private tutoring ever since, and the helpful feedback I received from my students and mentors has come to my aid countless times as I've envisioned lesson plans or considered new ways to introduce a topic. In short, the TCP and my subsequent PCTA experience not only opened doors for my career; they showed me pathways in life that I'd not previously considered and gave me the confidence to begin exploring them.”
Summer 2019 TCP graduate