Monday, February 14, 2011

Graduation 2011: Cary Gilmore, Teaching English as a Second Language

Cary Gilmore, TESL  graduateand Valedictorian
Currently:
Tutoring privately

My future goals include: 
to teach English to adult English Language Learners, to have my plays published and get back to directing theatre at some point too!

A natural fit
l'd had such wonderful experiences teaching theatre in the classroom, this program seemed such a natural way to continue that experience but a way of complementing my education in English, and using that to the best advantage.

The personal touch
I made my decision to take this TESL program based on the affordability of the program, and on a wonderful conversation I had with the co-ordinator of the program, Janice Penner, who just made it sound so fabulous. It was that personal touch that absolutely sold me on it.

What I'll remember the most is . . . 
The kindness of everybody in the program, the way we all bonded, despite our varying ages and backgrounds. It was such an intensive program, that we had to learn to work together, to get along well, it was sink or swim . . . it was a multicultural melting pot and we had such respect for each other . . . what a good group we were!

Hard work pays off
Because our course was so intensive, we had deadlines everyday and I found the workload incredible. We were doing four hours of homework a night - at least I was, but that's just how I study. I need to do a lot of writing. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!

Grammar ninja
I came into the program with my BA firmly tucked under my arm, confident in my knowledge of English, and my background as a professional writer for the CBC network for 15 years. I quickly learned that my knowledge of grammar was severely lacking, and I am STILL learning and relearning grammar.

That story about the goat . . .
I remember many crazy moments in class! But one that stands out was actually on our first day, when we were doing that "getting to know each other" kind of thing, and exchanging stories with your partner,that you then had to relate to the rest of the class. Sitting acrossfrom me, Glen proceeded to introduce a classmate who, he said, had just instructed him on how to properly castrate a goat. Glen told us the proper steps, maintaining a fairly straight face! Yup! we're a crazy group in TESL!

I can't choose just one great instructor
The TESL Program was so special because this was its first year, and each instructor had a wonderful, unique approach to us, the first year guinea pigs. I couldn't single one out as they were each different, but gave us so much. I'm so grateful for what I've learned from them all

I'd tell my fellow grads . . .
Keep coming back! We never stop learning, we are perpetual students. Look at me! I started my first degree 40 years ago, and I'm still wandering the halls of academia!

On leaving school:
I'm leaving school??!!