Ambassadors and Former Ambassadors
Audrey Toth, who currently is in UCD’s Masters/Credential program, says of her WA time:
“I did the [WA} program for two quarters and it was really a great experience. I can safely say I would not be where I am now if I didn't do it. And the funny thing is I had no idea I wanted to be a teacher when I signed up, I only did it because I stumbled across it and it sounded interesting.” Audrey Toth
Diana Nguyen, who interned as an Ambassador in an English Learner classroom at Pioneer High in Woodland in 2005, recently wrote back on her journey since being a part of the WA program:
“Since I left Davis, I've been working towards building my career in education. I was hired as an intern at Branham High School in San Jose during my last semester in the credential program at San Jose State. I feel so lucky to have found such an incredible and supportive school. I say "school" because everyone I've come across, including parents, has been so kind, supportive, and understanding.
“I'm currently in my 3rd year at Branham. This year, I teach 4 sections of English 1 and 2 sections of English 1H. I'm excited to say that we'll be offering AP Language and Composition as an English 3 alternative and I'll be piloting the course.
“The WA program gave me experience in the classroom before I even started to get my credential. Monica Brooks, the ESL teacher, allowed me to teach mini lessons once in a while and doing so gave me incredible insight into the experience of working with young people. I think participating in the program also helped me when I started job hunting. At that point, I had a year of experience working with ESL students, who are the primary population in San Jose. I like to think that having that experience gave me somewhat of a competitive edge over the other candidates.”
Of the UWP197tc classes themselves, Diana said: “I enjoyed the classes because we learned and discussed best practices. The one I remember that has been most valuable to me is when I learned about S.O.A.P.S. This acronym has come up over and over in professional development seminars that I've gone to and it's really helped my students with their writing.” Diana Nuyen
Lacey Thayer, who teaches at North Davis Elementary, has mentored Writing Ambassadors throughout the life of the program. Of her experience, Ms. Thayer writes
“Working with the Writing Ambassador interns over these past years has been a very rewarding experience. The quality of students is top-notch both academically and socially. Because they are so well-supported in your class, they are able to work more effectively in the classroom. You not only give them guidelines on how to work with children and teachers, but you offer them a forum in class for airing their discoveries and concerns. Many of our interns have ended up working with us for several quarters, and some for several years. I still correspond with former interns who are now teachers themselves. As I prepare for retirement in June, I look back on my association with the Writing Ambassador interns with great satisfaction. Thank you for all you have done to facilitate this program.”
Another long-time host teacher is Peter Haws, an Economics and World Civilizations instructor at Davis High:
“The Writing Ambassadors have been a great resource providing all kinds of support to my classes. In the past, Writing Ambassadors have developed and graded assignments, created lessons and presentations, and have taught writing and other lessons. The Writing Ambassadors have traditionally been some of my highest quality interns. Writing Ambassadors have represented themselves well as hard-working professionals building positive relationships with me and my students.”