Brittany Ober: MA TESOL ’12

“As a faculty member at Columbia University’s American Language Program, I teach in an intensive English program that has integrated skills classes. I also teach academic writing at the School for International and Public Affairs. I was the co-chair of the ALP’s annual Winter Conference, held for ESOL professionals every February. I love teaching and writing materials for my classes, and I feel very lucky to be in a position that allows for creativity and getting to know people from all over the world; no day is the same, and I have grown as a professional and as a person from the work that I do. I’m very grateful.

I graduated with my MA TESOL in May, 2012. A month later, I interviewed for a summer teaching position at the ALP. I was asked about the difference between the simple past and the present perfect and how I would explain it to a student. Because I was able to answer the question, and even though I had limited teaching experience at the time, I was given a chance to teach a class. The only reason I could answer that question was because of my classes at The New School, in which I learned the rules of grammar for the first time and in which I was observed teaching (and received extensive feedback from my peers) during the practicum. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that going to The New School changed my life and made it possible for me to make a career out of doing what I love.”