What makes you a Difference Maker?
I know that I am a difference maker because I teach my students how to be difference makers. That entails by modeling one lesson at a time and being cognizant of our actions. I don’t just teach Language Arts, ESL, standards, and objectives. My purpose in being a part of their educational life is not just to improve their scores on their assessments, but to shape and help mold them to be the ultimate lifelong learners and citizens of tomorrow.
Aside from my teaching role, I am also an advocate for my ESL students and their families. I serve as a liaison to my students and their families. I help with their transition to ease them in their assimilation as smoothly as possible. I assist in translating documents, offer assistance in employment opportunities, and serve as their point of person when they need any questions answered for them. Most of my ELLs come to America as refugees seeking safety or as immigrants because their parents are trying to obtain a better life and provide for them. This is all very difficult and a sensitive time in their young lives. I can only imagine the hardships that come with this type of drastic life change.
I previously graduated from UM-Dearborn with a B.A. in Education in 2010 with High Distinction. I enrolled to be a graduate student in the Fall of 2014 recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Education with a reading specialist endorsement in December 2015. I almost wished I had more time to do even more things. Working full time and going to school most weeknights can take a toll on you, but I didn’t forget to give back to my alma mater. I graduated with a 3.92 GPA and was also chosen to speak at my commencement ceremony on behalf of my graduating class. It was a humbling experience to be standing on stage with distinguished individuals, alumni, former professors, the chancellor, and especially Justice Bernstein.
This school year my roles outside of the classroom have increased. While serving families in my school district, I help families that have emigrated from various countries as refugees in establishing transportation to school, translating official documents, and aiding those that need school documents to be filled out properly. I am affiliated in various committees, departments and after school programs to enhance students’ learning experiences. I also served as a mentor to undergraduates and provided them with best practice techniques to aide them in their practicums, student teaching, and other teaching endeavors. , I don’t just teach from 8:10 am -3:00 pm. I am a 24 hour educator, contributor, advocator for lifelong learners. This was all made possible through the experiences that the University of Michigan has provided for me.
What is your Dream Career?
I mean, I would love to be a gourmet chef and work at a 5 star restaurant in Downtown Detroit or somewhere exotic… but as exciting as that sounds, nothing compares to the passion I have for teaching. Simply said, I love to teach. I don’t see myself as anything but an educator. I wouldn’t doubt myself that I’ll end up becoming a professor here at UM-Dearborn (GO BLUE!) and eventually teach other teachers while they are pursuing their education degree. As long as I am making a difference-daily, in education in the lives of our future, that’s my ultimate goal in my professional career.
What was your most Defining Moment at UM-Dearborn?
Having the courage to come back to school and continue with my education is telling in itself. It’s funny because, I wasn’t looking forward to the long evenings but soon I was craving them! Pretty weird huh?
I didn’t just graduate with my masters, but I was the first (and woman) in my family to do this. My first day back, I was sitting in Dr. Karen Thomas-Brown’s office and chatting about my career and what I have been doing. The conversation turned into “You know you have to get your Ed.D now right?” When I realized my own capability, and that I can really do anything I wanted with my education in my hand, that was crucial and I began to redefine my long term trajectory. I know that this isn’t my last stop. I’ll come back for a doctoral degree in Education and continue giving back.