Kelly Aldinger, a student in Clarkson’s Master’s of Art in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, has been awarded the James E. Weaver Award by the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
The James E. Weaver Award recognizes a teacher who epitomizes the professional and personal integrity and commitment that James E. Weaver so strongly personified.
“I am honored to receive an award that recognizes my passion and commitment to the field, as epitomized by a past association president and great leader,” Aldinger said. “It is my hope that I continually develop and grow into a leader that never stops advocating for my students and the rights of all English Language Learners.”
Aldinger is in her second year teaching in New York State and currently teaches English as a New Language to students in Kindergarten through fifth grade in the Shenendehowa Central School District at Okte Elementary School.
“I am teaching English Language Learners in co-taught integrated English Language Arts and stand alone sections where content is learned through language and language is learned through content in authentic, meaningful contexts,” Aldinger explained.
Aldinger is scheduled to graduate from Clarkson’s MAT program in 2021. Prior to her time teaching in New York State, Aldinger served with the North Shore AmeriCorps Program in a K-3 English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom in Salem, Mass.
Aldinger said her love for teaching is cultivated by the inspiring educators she continually has an opportunity to work alongside.
“My passion for the field has slowly evolved thanks to the influence of other teachers, leaders, and advocates who showed me the value of empathy and vision combined for the purpose of equity,” she said. “I believe multilingualism and multiculturalism are true assets that will be celebrated, cherished, and leveraged for a hopeful, promising future.”
Aldinger also credits Clarkson’s MAT program as a formative step in her educational journey.
“It has not only shaped me as a teacher of English Language Learners but also as an individual as I have grown to think more critically, communicate more effectively, and create more purposefully,” Aldinger said of the program. “The support and coaching I have received from advisors, professors, and peers has been unmatched.”
Aldinger said she is always open to connecting with other passionate educators working toward equity, and encourages anyone interested in networking with her to find her on Twitter @KellyAldinger or check out her portfolio at bit.ly/KellyAldinger.