“Julia Harvey” spent two years and $80,000 to get a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) at a well-regarded education school. Expectations were low, she writes in Education Next.
She needed only one basic course in linguistics and one in English grammar for her TESOL master’s. Almost all her classmates struggled to pass, leading her to wonder about admission requirements.
A class in adolescent development was useful, but the program offered no course in child development, despite the fact that my certification would be for grades K–12. It seemed that they were skimming over the important topics while bogging me down with courses in “theory and practice,” which did little to make me feel prepared to begin teaching on my own.
In her first semester of student teaching, the supervising teacher provided useful feedback, but the university supervisor was “minimally helpful.” She worked with a different supervising teacher in the second semester and received no feedback.
Her final project “earned me the last of a full transcript of easy As, with a friendly note on the cover and not a single comment or suggestion for how the unit could have been improved.”