Name: Tina Wooldridge
Job Title: Academic Coordinator, The Language Company
What inspired you to attend Spring Arbor University Online?
I researched online MA TESOL programs that included a faith-based approach and a reasonable pace, and Spring Arbor was the best fit for me.
What did you like most about your online degree program?
I appreciated the opportunity to immediately implement skills and methods from coursework into my classroom. I was able to stay current as an instructor while drawing from authentic experience when completing assignments.
How has earning your Master of Arts in TESOL degree helped you accomplish your professional and personal goals?
One week after completing my MATESOL, I
interviewed for and accepted the position of Academic Coordinator at the school where I had been teaching. I am better prepared to make decisions related to curriculum, teacher training, and professional development as a result of my studies. In addition, the knowledge I gained through coursework offered me experience that allows me to relate with what instructors in our IEP are experiencing in their classrooms.
What was the experience of studying online like for you?
I was highly motivated to complete the program, so the online learning experience was well-suited for me. I could put in as much work on assignments as I felt was beneficial for me professionally.
Did you feel supported in your program?
Even though I rarely met fellow students or instructors in person, when I did have that opportunity at regional conferences, there was immediate camaraderie. In addition, the academic and professional support we offered one another virtually via online avenues, such as Discussion Board, mimicked the support fellow students and coworkers offer one another in person.
How did you balance work, life and grad school?
The workload for each course was reasonable enough to allow me to balance all of the demands. Only when I took two courses simultaneously did I feel an imbalance. By no means is it easy to balance, but with discipline – and giving up movies and pleasure reading – I got through with relatively few bumps.
What advice do you have for people considering earning their Master of Arts in TESOL online?
Although it sounds like a cliché, you truly will get out of this program what you put into it. There were times that a particular assignment did not closely align with my current professional situation. Instead of halfheartedly completing the work, I contacted my professors and asked if I could change the assignment in order to receive maximum benefit from my work. They agreed every time.
The harder you work on the assignments, the more you will learn and develop professionally. Stay in touch with your instructors, ask questions, and develop a rapport with your classmates.