Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Previously, I lived in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, teaching English to students of all ages. When my wife and I returned to the United States, I realized I wanted to pursue teaching secondary English in public schools. I am passionate about teaching cross-culturally and currently have a background in teaching English to speakers of other languages, but I do not have a domestic teaching license because my undergraduate degree is outside the field of education. I discovered that Kansas State University offered a masters of arts in teaching (MAT) program that, upon completion, would allow me to receive my initial teaching license. After much soul-searching and research, my wife and I decided this would be the best "next step" for me.

Investing in my education would be wise because you would not just be investing in my master's degree, but you would also be investing in all of my future students' educations. I feel strongly that I am called to teach English as a second language students. ESL students are often overlooked or ignored in traditional classroom settings. I can be those students' advocate and champion. I can encourage them and holistically treat them by caring about their academics, but also about their family's needs.

I have not met many teachers in the United States who have experienced abruptly moving to a new country and not speaking the local language, but at the same time are expected to function and thrive in the new setting. I have done that. I did not know how to read, write, speak, or understand any Chinese before I moved to Asia. I know how challenging that was for me. Therefore, I can empathize with students who are arriving in American communities and cannot understand English. I can rely on my experience to provide me a glimpse of insight as to what their family is going through as they transition into a new community.

I understand that being a lifelong learner is critical to one's overall future. This is why I am pursuing education.

Drew from Kansas
Kansas State University