Posted August 1, 2012

Faces of Temple: Kaylin D. Womack

Name: Kaylin D. Womack

Year: Senior

Schools: College of Education and College of Liberal Arts

Major: Secondary education and English

Home town: Originally from Houston, Texas; Philadelphia resident for eight years

Why I chose Temple: “I am a transfer from Delaware County Community College and a non-traditional student. The first reason I chose Temple was the location; it was close to my residence and job. More importantly, Temple prides itself on having a hand in the community. That is important to me, because I want to be a teacher of underserved populations. At my high school, I didn’t feel supported or ready to go to college, which is why it took me longer to start my college experience. My goal is to greatly reduce the number of students who feel unprepared for life after high school. My family suggested Temple because the College of Education has a reputation for developing great teachers, as well as offering hands-on experience in inner-city communities. Here at Temple, I’ve had the chance to know my professors one-on-one. The advice my instructors have provided has led to networking opportunities for my future career goals. The College of Education has their students’ best interest at the forefront. I was awarded a Dr. Margaret C. Wang Scholarship for 2011-12, which meant that I didn’t have to take out as many loans.”

Transformational moments: “When I entered Temple, I had a plan: earn my bachelor’s degree, teach, earn my master’s in Education Administration, then become a principal. Since I’ve started classes at TU my horizons have broadened. I’m so thankful for the exposure.

“First, I was part of the Simpson-Temple Exchange Program, which gave me the opportunity to travel to Iowa for two weeks to live and teach with three other future educators (two students from Simpson College and another Temple student). The experience really shifted my perspective on how I’m going to approach teaching in the future. We went to visit a school in Des Moines called Orchard Place, a PBIS (positive behavior and intervention school). It’s a boarding school that houses 113 students annually who’ve had behavior problems and have been removed from their homes or foster care. The rate of students who turn their lives around is very high. When I went to Orchard Place, I knew that I wanted to work with underprivileged children and students who don’t have the support system they need at school or at home. When I observed one of the classrooms and saw how positive behavior is highlighted and reinforced, it made me realize that I would like to establish a boarding school of my own — maybe 15 or 20 years from now — that provides children who live in adverse situations with consistency, safety, comfort, resources and encouragement. Visiting different schools has been a major turning point for me.

“Second, I took a course called ‘Foundations of Language Teaching: Teaching English Language Learners in Grades 4 and 12.’ As part of the course, I worked with seven 8th grade English Language Learners (ELLs) at a North Philadelphia middle school, Benjamin Franklin Academy Plus. It made me realize that teaching ELLs is another avenue that I could take. When I told one of my English professors, Dr. Paula Robison, how much I enjoyed it, she said I should see if I can teach a class at the Nationalities Services Center (NSC) in Philadelphia. Now I’m teaching a 10-week course to adult ELLs at NSC. I have four students and a teaching assistant that I prepare lessons and assessments for. I teach for two and half hours twice a week. I love it! Why? Maybe it’s because I enjoy learning about other people’s cultures. We’re all students, as far as I’m concerned. Now I’ve decided that I really want to pursue a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and teach English internationally, specifically in India and West Africa.”