UT Tyler

Graduate Student Alumni Spotlight

MEd Reading

Rachel BouknightStudent Name:  Rachel Bouknight

Program: Master of Education in Reading

Graduated: 2015

Employer: Bland Independent School District

Position: English as a Second Language Teacher, PK-5th

What attracted you to this field?

I was a kindergarten teacher for seven years and I wanted to learn more about the way my students learn to read as well as furthering my career opportunities for the future.

Why did you choose to attend UT Tyler?

UT Tyler offered a course framework and schedule that met my needs as a professional with a family. Despite learning through an online format, I had more of a connection with my professors and other students than I did in a traditional face-to-face environment during my undergraduate coursework.

What do you like most about UT Tyler?

The support I had from my professors and their efforts to give every student the best learning experience possible.

What are your career aspirations?

I have a few goals in mind depending on the job market. English as a Second Language became my calling this past year, and I wouldn't have taken that leap of faith had I not learned so much about English Language Learners during my Master of Education program. My professors gave me the confidence to take on a leadership role on my campus. I hope to move into a reading specialist or literacy coaching role in the near future.

What's your work experience?

I've taught kindergarten for seven years and I am currently in my first year of teaching English as a Second Language to pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students. I also have taught pre-kindergarten through third-grade summer school for six years.

Do you have any advice to pass along to other students interested in this program?

I was not interested in becoming an administrator, but I felt that I could possess leadership skills and my love of reading pushed me to gain more information about the program. If you're interested in learning more about how you can help students and become a leader on your campus, I strongly urge you to contact the MEd Reading program coordinators at UT Tyler. It has been one of the best decisions I've made in my life!

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