by Caroline Kim (2018 Graduate)
In the completion of my MATESOL journey, I have reflected on the unprecedented experiences of publishing and presenting at local CATESOL events. Let me begin by underscoring the importance of staying active in our field: Challenge yourself and learn something new! Initially, it dawned on me as a mere newbie to this linguistic world, what do I have to offer to experienced educators who have been in the field longer than I have been alive? I felt utterly sheepish and hopeless; however, as I transcended through my MATESOL program here at Westcliff, I explored modest niches that I deemed were important to me and my students.
To be frank, there is nothing to lose in the experience of publishing and presenting. In the process, you will become a more notable contributor, marketable in the diverse network of educators, and more knowledgeable about what resources and tactics to incorporate into your own classroom. That sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about where to begin, reach out to me! I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with such supportive and encouraging Westcliff professors, such as Jennifer Hirashiki, who co-presented with me at my first L.A. Regional CATESOL event towards the closure of my Masters. Just the comfort of having a familiar face stand in your corner meant the world to me, and I’d be happy to do the same for you.
If you are starting out, I suggest you start in-house before moving onto the big leagues. I began with publishing in the Westcliff University Journal, and it was a phenomenal opportunity to partake in the editing process and to conquer my first ever publication! This gave me confidence to present at the CATESOL event in L.A.; and shortly, I will be presenting an Edpuzzle workshop in San Diego this month! Although I admit that it isn’t always easy juggling work and life on top of the responsibilities of preparing for these events, I assure you that the time you put in will reward you tenfold in the future. I have already begun to reap the efforts of my past with amazing teaching positions! As my former teacher once told me, “Never close your own door.” So, I challenge you to take yourself to new heights and become an active participant in our awesome TESOL world!