MEmber of the Month:

Owen Andrews


Instructional specialist


Anne Arundel Community College

Years Involved in/Teaching ESL?
7 years

Why did you become an ESOL teacher?

I became an ESOL teacher to empower immigrants through English language learning.

What other jobs or careers did you have before landing in TESOL?

Before landing in TESOL, I was a fishmonger, legislative organizer on Capitol Hill, and library page.

What do you love about your career?

I love being a part of immigrant students improving their own lives and enriching our communities.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by the persistence and brilliance of our students and faculty.

What has been your greatest accomplishment (so far)?

I’m going to use this space to say thank you to just a few of the people who have made what I’ve accomplished professionally possible: Jacqui Walpole, Liz Alex, Sarah Shin, and John Nelson (RIP), my colleagues at AACC, and of course my students.

What goals do you have for the future?

Colleges in many states have English for Academic Purposes classes that are credit-bearing, degree-applicable, and transfer-eligible. This is just one example of how Maryland and it’s colleges and universities could and should be doing more for our multilingual English learners and the highly skilled faculty who teach them. My goal is to work with advocates around the state to achieve a learning environment where an English L1’s ability to order a croissant in French is no longer valued more than a Spanish L1’s ability to write a persuasive essay in English.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part of teaching is building community

Training teachers is like _____.

Training teachers is like a potluck because everyone brings something to the table

The three things I always keep in my desk/have in my teaching bag are:

a picture of my wife Mairin, a map of Central America (where I learned Spanish), and a name plaque given to me by a former student who is a woodworker.

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