Notable Alumni

Jeanette Marie Dekker, M.S.

Jeanette Marie Dekker, M.S. (2008)

Osaka, Japan
Master of Science in Education Middle Childhood and Adolescence Education, 5-12
Full-Time Contract Instructor, Liberal Arts Department, Tezukayama Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan

After graduating from Niagara University in 2008, I was working as a substitute teacher (pretty much full time). I was in a great place and it seemed that if I continued down that path, I would be offered a full-time position rather quickly.

However, something was missing. I fell in love with teaching before entering Niagara University; although it was after I started at NU that I discovered it was the perfect career choice for me. I was able to meet so many like-minded individuals who shared the same passion and common goal: providing students with the best possible education and learning experiences.

Although I studied middle childhood and adolescence, Niagara University stressed the importance of cross-curricular education; therefore, the transition from teaching in Canada to teaching in Japan was easy. The skills I learned at NU were universal and prepare you to teach in diverse environments with students of various levels.

When I moved to Japan, I began teaching in language schools and was dispatched to teach in various universities. I found that I could easily remember and use all the skills learned at Niagara University, and I began to appreciate my degree more and more.

The professors at Niagara University continue to offer me advice and support. Professor Vince Rinaldo and Professor Mike Smith have helped me explore research possibilities and have offered a great deal of guidance, to which I am so grateful.

Now I am teaching E.F.L. full time at Tezukayama Gakuin University in Osaka, Japan. I am conducting research concerning teaching skills and practices that help raise student motivation in the classroom. I look forward to continuing my research and doing my best to ensure that the classroom is a comfortable place that provides positive learning opportunities for students.