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Student earns Fulbright teaching assistantship to return to Mexico

Amanda Jackson recently won the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, which will allow her to professionally teach English classes in Mexico. The senior will teach English as an assistant in an English-speaking program from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Central Michigan Life spoke with Jackson, of Oak Harbor, Washington, to discuss her upcoming trip to Mexico and her previous experiences traveling outside the U.S.

CM Life: What encouraged you to pursue a teaching career?

Jackson: I really enjoyed learning Spanish in high school and I always knew I wanted to do something with Spanish. Right out of high school I started working at a preschool, so I had some experience and I knew I loved it. I really liked working with kids and watching them learn.

What experience do you have with teaching?

I study Spanish education (for) Spanish (kindergarten through 12th grade). I did an internship in Mexico for a year working in two different schools studying the difference between the private and public school environment.

The first semester I was working in a private school, an English-speaking bilingual school. The second semester I was teaching in a public school. I was teaching geography, science and Spanish, in both fifth-grade classrooms. Now I am doing my student teaching.

How do you feel your last experience teaching in Mexico went?

It was amazing. Indefinitely that internship is what encouraged me to apply for the Fulbright Grant. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship is very similar, so I will be assisting a full-time teacher with my English skills. (I will also be) sharing a lot about U.S. culture and helping contextualize English while learning from (the teacher) at the same time.

That's exactly how I felt my experience with my internship was. It was a really good experience of learning the language and learning about them. Kids are very open and honest, so you can learn a lot from them.

Are you going to a different area of Mexico this summer?

Yes. I don't know where yet. They (decide where I go). I am waiting to hear what kind of school I'm going to be in and where.