When I first walked into Mother Rosalie Hill Hall... I looked up at names like Vygotsky and Freire and thought, no wonder this place is so beautiful - look at all of the donors! That was the fall semester of 2010. Two years later and those names, and the educational theory they represent, were inscribed in my mind forever. I entered the Masters of Education in TESOL, Literacy and Culture with five years of English as a Second Language teaching experience, but my education in SOLES weaved theory into the core of my teaching practice. I have always taught from the heart and wonderful professors in SOLES like Dr. Sarina Molina and Christine Kane inspired and encouraged me to keep doing so, but the emphasis they placed on rooting my practice in theory prepared me to teach anywhere. Where I have settled is where I found my first home in San Diego, right here at USD.
With my previous experience, and the TESOL certificate units completed, I was able to begin teaching at USD's English Language Academy (ELA) during the second year of my master's program. I teach academic reading, writing and listening and speaking classes to non-native English speakers whose aim is transition into mainstream 4-year university programs in the U.S. While working on my master's, I put the theories I was learning to the test with my students at the ELA. I was also able to ground my action research in real need identified from my own classroom. I have since presented my research in multiple venues, from the SOLES annual Action Research Conference, to the 2012 Regional CATESOL Conference, and have even been hired to present my research as professional development at local language schools.
After graduating in May 2012, I have continued to teach at the ELA am also trying out my wings a "freeway flyer", teaching at both Mira Costa Community College and the University of California, San Diego's English Language Institute. Graduation did not mark the end of my role as an action research practitioner, nor did it mark the end of my relationship with SOLES. I put the skills I learned in SOLES to use every day in my classroom and you can still find me in Dr. Molina's office from time to time - these days learning all I can about getting published!