Archive for the ‘Alumni Perspectives’ Category

Alum Akisha Pearman: English Language Fellow

January 21, 2010

Applying her Peace Corps experience at SIT, Akisha Pearman went on to be a US State Department English Language Fellow in Mozambique.  Here she reflects on her SIT experiences and presents a compelling, insider’s view of what it means to teach, to listen, and to change.  In this email interview, note how she uses her SIT learning in a variety of settings.  How different education would be if we all had had teachers like Akisha! (more…)

Alum Wilma Luth: Good Practices

January 15, 2010

Wilma Luth

How do you increase awareness without anyone standing right beside you and calling your attention to what is there?  How can you see what’s right in front of you, familiar and predictable, with a fresh perspective?  How can teachers grow and development themselves professionally?  How can students learn to create awareness for themselves?  Ask Wilma Luth.

Wilma Luth (SMAT 17, 1998) has lived on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido for many years.  Besides her own EFL teaching, she is an active member of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).  It is in the dual capacity that she was invited to present a workshop on good teaching practices to Hokkaido’s EFL teachers at a regional meeting of the national association.  Describing the work, she says, “I enjoy giving workshops like this that help teachers stop and think about what they’re doing in the classroom. So many teachers rarely spend the kind of reflective time that could really re-energize their teaching.” (more…)

Teaching Success in Keene

January 11, 2010

Keene, New Hampshire, a town of 23,000 people, is about 20 miles from SIT Graduate Institute and enrolls 3,787 students in its K-12 public school system.  Keene has two full-time teachers of English to speakers of other languages, both alumni of SIT, who were featured in Saturday’s Keene Sentinel (January 9, 2010).

Reading between the lines below, note the learner-focused approaches to teaching and, especially, the thoughtful and engaging integration of the students’ identities into their learning.  The teachers’ sense of delight in their serious work is obvious.

Culture club

Above, pupil Mann Patel works on his English skills in class Thursday at Franklin School in Keene. Below, teacher Morris Kimura works with pupils at the school.

Keene program helps immigrants adjust to region

By Sarah Palermo, 
Sentinel Staff

Published: Saturday, January 09, 2010

What did you have for breakfast? (more…)

ESL Certification: Cooperating Teacher’s View

December 10, 2009

Ana Rawson

Ana Rawson, MAT 19 (1988), is interviewed here by Colleen Garrett, MAT 40 (2008), whose previous posts have been quite popular.  Directing her school district’s teaching of English to speakers of other languages, Ana also holds several other distinctions, including representing the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union to the WIDA Consortium. Besides her own ESOL teaching, Ana teaches SIT’s ESL Certification course, Advocacy in US Public Education.

In addition to being her teacher in the Advocacy course, Ana works with Colleen daily during the internship as an on-site peer and resource.  This critical and special role of Ana’s is called that of a “cooperating teacher.”

PART ONE – A Cooperating Teacher’s View

  • What were the most valuable parts of your MA in Teaching from SIT?

Colleen Garrett

One of the most valuable parts of my experience at SIT was the opportunity for reflection on my own cultural background, and learning to see this as a strength in my teaching. (more…)

Alumni Respond to Faculty

December 7, 2009

Alumni respond to the update letter from faculty.  Note the strong, loyal feelings expressed here.  (Notes have been edited lightly for reasons of confidentiality.)

(more…)

Iran Today & Yesterday

July 13, 2009
Photo by Michal Czerwonka for The New York Times
Photo by Michal Czerwonka for The New York Times

In an article in the June 26, 2009, New York Times, Samuel Freedman features the story of Habib Hosseiny, an alumnus of SIT’s MA in Teaching (1979).

Concurrent with the recent protests in Iran, the story describes  the ongoing persecution of Bahais in Iran, who are being blamed by the government for the recent election protests. Hosseiny is now a Bahai refugee in New Jersey who sits on a nine-member spiritual assembly.

As such, Hosseiny demonstrates that living one’s values, regardless of spiritual practice, is an important dimension of a life of service as well as a life that creates change.

Campus Views: May

May 14, 2009

Not much has changed on the campus in the past two years since these views of SIT were filmed in May 2007.  With happy thanks to Erin Erickson.

Revan: Emigrating from Iraq

April 30, 2009

hedo-image001On April 22, the Brattleboro Reformer ran a front-page article highlighting the life of MAT graduate Revan Hedo and his family after they moved to the U.S. from Iraq.

Iraqi refugees thank Vermonters for their help
By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff

Wednesday, April 22
BRATTLEBORO — When the first Iraqi-American was born in Brattleboro last year, his parents were in limbo.

While the child was guaranteed a life in the United States by virtue of his birth, his parents were worried that one day they would have to return to the Middle East — with or without their son — when their visas expired. (more…)

Akisha: Using My MAT in Mozambique

April 23, 2009

akisha-pearmanAkisha Pearman, MAT 38 (2006-07), describes her work, her joys, and her teaching in Mozambique in a program sponsored by the US State Department.  Working around internet connection problems, Akisha sent this post by cellphone through Facebook to reach the blog.

While writing my portfolio the summer after classes ended, a kind reader/editor and former MAT classmate found that I had incorrectly described my degree at SIT as being a Masters in the Art of Teaching.  At first I thought I wrote it by accident but after some thinking I kinda liked the way it sounded.  I do think teaching can be described as an art.  In addition to teaching I am passionate about the art of photography; that magical little rectangle (or square) can tell so many stories and can be used a great conversation piece, subject for analysis and critical thinking, or illustration for grammatical points.  I got to put my two loves for “art” into practice last year in Mozambique as an English Language Fellow for the US State Department. (more…)

Wangari Maathai Speaks in Brattleboro

April 20, 2009
Taking Root
Taking Root

On Saturday, April 11, Nobel peace laureate and World Learning Trustee Emerita Wangari Maathai answered audience questions and signed copies of her book, The Challenge for Africa, at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro.

Current MAT student Elisabeth Yesko was among many who attended the event and shares her thoughts and impressions here.

Maathai’s work has been documented by filmmakers Lisa Merton (MAT alumna, 1989) and Alan Dater.  This film will be broadcast in the US on PBS stations in April 2009.

For more on Maathai’s work, visit The Green Belt Movement.

(more…)