An estimated 300 people gathered at the Monterey Institute this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, sharing stories, paying tribute to the lasting legacy of volunteers at home and abroad, and savoring food and music from the countries served by MIIS students.
September 2, 2012
Program: Teaching English to Speaker's of Other Languages (TESOL)
Undergrad: University of Georgia (International Business)
Fast Fact: Sky has swam with whale sharks in Mexico (and even has a whale shark tattoo on his foot!)
"Being in the TESOL program is like being part of the all-star team of language learning and teaching."
Sky knew he wanted to be a teacher after working for two years as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) instructor at an elementary school outside of Atlanta, GA. However, his background was in international business, and he was unacquainted with education theory and methodology. After starting on an alternative path to a state teaching certificate, Sky changed his mind and decided to attend graduate school.
He says, "I had always been interested in the Peace Corps and during the application process came upon an advertisement that read 'Peace Corps? Graduate school? Why not both?' I was convinced that the ad was created for me and at that time decided to take part in the Peace Corps Master's International program."
Sky's decision to study at MIIS was partly due to its proximity to the ocean and mountains. At the same time, he was eager to be able to work with leaders in the field of linguistics and education.
He says, "You really feel like you are in good hands when your professor has written the textbook you use in class. Being in the TESOL program is like being part of the all-star team of language learning and teaching."
Sky has nothing but good things to say about his Peace Corps Master's International experience at MIIS.
"My experience with the PCMI program has been nothing but fantastic. My first year on campus prepared me extremely well for my Peace Corps service. While I was in the field, Dr. Kathi Bailey and her graduate assistants sent frequent emails and occasional care packages. I felt continuously connected to Monterey, which has made readjusting to post-service life much easier."
While at MIIS, Sky has been most interested in language teacher education, second language acquisition, and curriculum design.
He says, "I am most excited about the ability of language education to make a positive impact on language learners around the world and in the U.S. I see language teaching as a way to improve cross-cultural understanding and promote social justice. Upon graduation, I look forward to putting my degree towards making the world a better place."
Like this story? Here are a few suggestions:
In two articles published by the New York Times, MIIS alumna Jaala Thibault (MATESOL ´07) shares her experience as a female professor teaching young men and women in Kabul, Afghanistan—an experience unimaginable only ten years ago.