Tina-Marie Freeman

MEd TESOL, Literacy and Culture

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

Once I graduate I hope to teach adult English speakers of other language (ESOL) students. I would like to teach abroad for a few years, but eventually plan to work in the U.S. I am interested in working for community colleges and refugee resettlement programs. Students in these settings often see immediate academic, occupational, and personal benefits from learning English, and I hope to be a guide and resource as they work towards their individual goals. 

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

I began Fall 2014 and plan to complete the program Spring 2016. 

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

I did extensive research on TESOL programs around the country and found that the University of San Diego was one of the few schools to emphasize the need for cultural awareness and understanding in this field. While the program is certainly tailored to help students obtain jobs after graduation, it stresses the areas in which graduates can give back to the community and use their knowledge to fight for better teaching and educational practices in the field. Furthermore, the city offers ample career opportunities and chances to observe the types of settings in which I'd like to work.

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

I grew up in Vermont and studied psychology at the University of Vermont for my undergraduate degree. I spent a year living and teaching at a high school in China, and came to love TESOL. I returned to Vermont and spent two years working with students with developmental disabilities, while also volunteering as an English tutor at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. 

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?

I work part-time as an Instructional Assistant in the ESOL program at a local community college. I also tutor a few ESOL students. While it is busy, I am able to apply my learning with my students, which has been a valuable part of my experience here. 

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

I am currently taking Methods in ESL, which is a 6 unit course. During this class we travel to different educational settings around the city so that we can see the many types of ESL classrooms and learning environments. This has given me a better idea of where I do and do not see myself teaching in the future. The class also gives us the opportunity to see and use the theories that we have already studied. We discuss techniques that will allow us to bring theory into practice in our own classrooms, which has helped me to feel more confident in my ability to provide quality instruction to my students. It has also encouraged me to think deeply about my current and past teaching techniques and reflect on the type of teacher I have been and want to be. 

Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success? How have they helped?

All of my professors have been extremely helpful and responsive during my time at USD. They are invested in their students’ learning and are very approachable.  I’ve been able to ask questions, clarify information, and bounce ideas off of countless people here at SOLES. Dr. Molina has offered an immense amount of encouragement and support as I pursue outside ventures in the field. My experience with the professors here has allowed me to grow from taking a passive to an active approach in my learning.