Looking Ahead: A Future Language Educator Explores Her Next Steps
Casey just graduated with her Master of Arts in Teaching Arabic, but her adventures in teaching have just begun. In her words:
If you’ve been following my journey through graduate school, you’ll know that I’ve been studying to become a high school teacher of Arabic as a foreign language. I’ve been to conferences, lead a group of undergraduates in a language hall, and did my student teaching at a public magnet school in Boston.
During the courses I enrolled in throughout the past year, I read a lot about teaching and a lot about the history of education. I realized at a certain point that while my courses were informative and my student teaching experience was great because it put me in the front of a classroom, I still didn’t feel like I had the skill set to have my own classroom.
As a teacher, there are a million things going on in your head all the time, such as questions pertaining to the educational aspect, like “Why are my students not reacting to anything I’m saying?” or “How can I differentiate these instructions further?” Then there are also the questions like “Why does the door keep locking?” or “Why didn’t the bell ring when it was supposed to?” Or, once when a few of the students were on a field trip and others were absent, “Why is half the class absent?”
If teachers just starting out in the field have great mentors and are able to truly integrate themselves into the community, they are less likely to leave the field of teaching within five years.
My student teaching was three months at a public school and I could completely see how teachers would get burned out super fast if they were not supported well and given all of the skills and training to help nurture students. Teaching is challenging, and teachers need to be supported well.
Knowing this, I’ve chosen to take a position at an independent school next year where I will be a resident teacher.
A resident teacher position is for someone who is just starting out in the field of education who really wants to build up their skill set and experience necessary before being in charge of their own classroom. It’s an established program so I know I will be supported by great people, while also gaining the experience I need to be the most effective educator I can. After two years, I hope to be teaching Arabic again in my own classroom, building upon whatever resources I can to implement an engaging standards-based program.
Alf shukr (a thousand thanks in Arabic) to ACTFL and Lead with Languages for the platform to share my story. Thank you for following my journey through grad school and reading the little tidbits I’ve shared! If you’re thinking about becoming a language educator, drop me a line @UstaazaCasey on Twitter! I’d love to support you in any way I can.
Congratulations to Casey on accomplishing this important step in her career. On behalf of her future students, we’re so excited to see where her journey with Arabic leads her in the years ahead!
To read more posts about Casey’s path to becoming a language teacher, check out the full series on our blog, and for resources on teacher education programs and credentialing, see our Become a Language Teacher page. And as always, don’t forget to share your language learning story with us @LeadWLanguages on social media.