TESOL alumnus Don Hansen describes how networking and honing his elevator pitch helped him land his teaching jobs.
For the past seven months, Ramon Mislang MATESOL ’13 has taken the lessons that inspired him as an Institute student and shared them with aspiring teachers in Taiwan. Mislang was awarded a Fulbright TEFL advisor grant, which provides qualified teachers or professors the opportunity to spend one year as TEFL and bilingual education advisors of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETA) program in Taiwan. TEFL advisors enhance the professional expertise of ETAs and local English teachers (LET) through visits, observations, consultations, and workshops. The advisors facilitate professional development across 13 sites in Taiwan and contribute to the enhancement of the English teaching environment.
“It has been an amazing seven months since I came to Taiwan,” says Mislang. “From fancy dinners and hotels to cultural excursions, the Fulbright program and the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (FSE) have really gone out of their way to make Taiwan feel like a second home.”
Mislang says one of the best aspects about this position has been collaborating with other TEFL advisors on teacher-training workshops, conferences, and remote camps. Many advisors, he notes, are former JETs, ELFs, Fulbrighters, certified K–12 teachers, and specialists, with diverse backgrounds in education.
“I have learned a lot from them about how PBL, CLIL, SEL, and DEI are implemented around the world. Another rewarding part of the position has been working with ETAs and LETs,” says Mislang. Through observations and mentoring, Mislang has been able to help teachers enhance their problem-solving skills, develop a more open-minded perspective, and develop sustainable teacher routines.
“Sometimes I get to share personal stories about my teaching experiences with new teachers to help them navigate the gambit of language education. Coming full circle, I remember some of the personal stories MIIS professors would share and how they motivated me to become the educator I aspire to be. I am looking forward to the second half of the program and sharing more after my first year is finished.”
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In response to significant demand for a remote option, the Middlebury Institute recently launched a new online Master of Arts in TESOL program that allows students to complete their master’s degrees in two years without having to relocate to Monterey.
| by Kira Lemons
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