Student Voices! Recent World Languages Education Graduate – Alyssa Murray

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Alyssa Murray  graduated from DePaul’s College of Education in June of 2015, with a degree in World Languages Education: Spanish, and a minor degree in both ESL and Bilingual Education. Here, she introduces herself and shares her journey in pursuing the ESL and Bilingual Education Endorsements.

Dear future graduates of DePaul University’s College of Education,

The first thing I would like to share is that the “Batman Belt” that Dr. Goulah always talks about, (the one that you will be equipped with should you choose to pursue the ESL and Bilingual Endorsements) really does exist. It is Dr. Goulah’s go-to speech to convince people that adding the endorsements will save their lives, but I’m here to tell you that having those endorsements really does give you super powers.

Yes, adding the endorsements means taking a few extra classes and doing more service hours, but taking those classes and completing those hours not only exposes you to the great perspectives of theorists in the field, but also puts you into twice as many classrooms. I was told by every teacher and administrator that because of my field experience and because I was endorsed, I was practically guaranteed a job after graduation.

Graduation will come sooner than you could ever expect.  Even with the extra classes, I was still shocked when it was time to actually graduate. However, two days after graduation, I was offered a teaching position! And guess what got me the job? My ESL and Bilingual Endorsements! I felt like a celebrity at my interview and everyone at my school was so impressed that I graduated from such an amazing program. As promised, my endorsements landed me an incredible position.

Being a part of the Bilingual Bicultural Education Program at DePaul will not only introduce you to the perspectives of great theorists and practitioners in the field of second language education, but will also give you a better understanding of your students and how to connect with them when you are finally in your own classroom. The ability to see how ethnicity, language, social class, and community affect not only the individual identity of your students, but also the identity of your classroom, is a skill that I am so grateful to have as a first year teacher. Because of my experience in the WLE and BBE program, I am able to understand the sociocultural and historical factors that affect my students’ lives both in and outside of school. I know what policies are in place that influence my students’ education and what I can do to support them in their language learning as well as their social and emotional growth.

Although my story may overwhelm you more than you were before, take a deep breath, go grab some Starbucks, or Chipotle from around the corner, and set up a meeting to talk about adding the endorsements. You will be so grateful that you did. It is not an easy decision to make, but looking back, it was easily the best decision I made in my time at DePaul. I wish you the best of luck in all of your teaching adventures!

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