In Summer 2017, I had an opportunity to teach English to international students that came for summer school in Hawaii. My responsibilities were taking care of the group of ten kids from the ages of 7-8 on a field trip for 4 hours, making sure they are learning English while they are on the field trip, and assisting and teaching classes for another 4 hours in the afternoon.
An opportunity for TESOL students to practice teaching to the EIL students on campus every Wednesday and Thursday evening. There are a variety of topics we teach depending on the needs of the students that come. Before teaching, we must submit the lesson plan that we created for the lesson. It is often team teaching, so as a partner, we planned the lesson together. This opportunity comes every semester.
BYU-Hawaii has an online program for international students to learn English as a preparation before being admitted to the university. Some of the EIL classes in this program are listening/speaking, reading, and writing at all different levels. They are taught by teachers from different places. Every class has a teacher assistant, which are TESOL students on campus. For a year, I worked as a TA for 3 EIL classes. As a teacher assistant, our main role was meeting with students through skype every week and helping them to accomplish what is required in the class. I also worked very closely with the teachers of the classes to monitor and discuss the learning progress of the students. It was truly a wonderful experience to teach and help students to accomplish their goals.
As a tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie-Hawaii, I have to be prepared mentally and physically for the job. My job was to take care of guests from an individual up to 30 people per group. I made sure everyone enjoyed their time in the center by creating schedules according to their needs, entertaining them with knowledge about the Polynesian culture, and paid attention to individual needs. Planning and managing skill are the main things I learned from this job. I learned to have many backup plans, and learned to communicate with my guests about those plans without getting them confused and disappointed. These skills that I have acquired have truly benefited me in my teaching.
I started teaching piano since 2008. Teaching piano over many years has proven to me that I love teaching. I find it very satisfying teaching students to be able to do something. I have experiences in teaching piano from the small children to adults. The experience taught me everyone is very different, so I have to approach them differently. However, the principle to acquire the skill is the same, which is practice. As a teacher, I need to know what approaches I should take to help them achieve their goals. I found that these experiences have a great impact on my English teaching as well.
Prior to being certified as a tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center, there are various elements of training that every tour guide has to go through. Every 3-4 months, there will always be a big group of new hires that need to be trained and certified. I was asked by my supervisor to help train these new employees for awhile. My duty as a trainer is to give training every other day to the department in order to improve our performance, train new employees to become an excellent tour guide, and participate in meetings to discuss the performance and come up with a plan to improve. This experience has truly prepared me to become a better teacher because it taught me to reflect on our performance.
An opportunity to present on a topic regarding teaching or learning English. The topic that I chose for my poster was "Beyond the Blackboard: 4 alternative ideas to classroom teaching" It was a great learning experience to participate in the professional setting and conversing with people about English teaching and learning. The feedback I received from professors prepared me for other opportunities in the future.
In March 2017, I went to the annual TESOL Conference in Seattle, Washington. It was truly a great life learning experience. At the conference, I met many people from the same field and was able to make connections with them. There were many different kinds of workshops, discussions, conferences, presentations to choose from. I chose to participate in discussions and presentations about learners and teaching strategies. I also was very interested in the online teaching field. The TESOL conference also gave me many resources that I can reach out to when I need them.
As part of a class requirement in teaching reading class, I have accomplished a workshop from Reading Horizon that mainly focuses on the bottom reading skills. From this workshop, it gives me an ability to explain and help beginner readers learn how to read more effectively.
The TESOL program in BYUH has a TESOL society that provides many activities and events to enhance our learning and skills as an English teacher. There are many different kinds of activities, some are just for socializing and making connections. Some are opportunities to practice and share our knowledge in the field. Being part of this society has helped me significantly in my academic study.