Gretchen Schwarzmueller

Looking back over my undergraduate and graduate years at Niagara in the College of Education, I can see how all the teaching experiences--and other experiences--I received through the university have prepared me for the teaching job I have recently accepted at Keshequa Central Schools. I do not feel like a new teacher, because I have been in the classroom training for countless hours in countless settings already because of the opportunities at Niagara. All of the difficulties of first becoming an educator were weathered under the guidance and support of my professors during my studies here. It is amazing to think of the progress I have made from a freshman observing in a classroom to a confident teacher now. I know I could not have done it without Niagara University.

I also know that when facing challenges in the future as I continue to grow as a professional, I can always turn to one of my former professors at Niagara University, or to the other staff, supervisors, and fellow students I met while attending. I still feel as though I belong to the Niagara community, and that I have a whole network of caring and knowledgeable people at my back. I will always consider Niagara University a home.

Nada Jawad

I came to the United States at the age of 11 going into sixth grade. When I first came to this country, I knew absolutely no English and was placed in an ESL class. I felt very comfortable in ESL because I knew all the students in it were in a similar situation. I believe that the ESL setting allowed me the opportunity to learn the English language along with the American culture. After the first four to six months of ESL, I was able to communicate well in English. Now, I want to share my experiences and the benefits of this type of program with ESL students by becoming a TESOL teacher myself. I feel that I am able to relate to these students and understand the challenging circumstances they might face.

Marissa Felser

I am a TESOL major at Niagara University because I want to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in the City of Buffalo. I specifically wish to work with the immigrant and refugee populations. I want to help these students because they are new to this country and they are adjusting to a new culture and a different language. I want to help them reach the goals they have for their lives in this country.

Cara Nichele

I think TESOL programs are important given that the ESL population in schools nationwide is constantly increasing. It is important to give all students an effective and meaningful education, and ESL students need teachers who are equipped to help them succeed in the educational system and in life. I want to be an ESL teacher because I want to make a difference.

James W. Lyons

I chose to become an ESL teacher because I love learning about different cultures and working with students of different backgrounds. Given the demand for qualified ESL teachers, I believe that becoming an ESL teacher prepares me for pursuing the field domestically, in the United States, as well as overseas. Ultimately, I plan to pursue teaching English abroad.