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Student of the Month: Kelly Slater, Secondary Education – UM School of Education

Kelly Slater Courtesy of UM School of Education
Kelly Slater Courtesy of UM School of Education

Kelly Slater is an senior English education major at the UM School of Education and due to his outstanding work with the Ole Miss international community, the Moss Point native was selected as the October Student of the Month. When Slater is not studying or student teaching, he can be found helping international students prepare for their English language tests. Slater recently took time out of his busy schedule to sit down and discuss his time at UM.

What made you decide to go into teaching?

Even though I considered different career paths, I’ve always known deep down that I want to teach. I had a lot of really great teachers from elementary school through high school and they all made a difference in my life. I want the opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives the way my teachers impacted me.

What led you to Ole Miss?

I originally attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. As I prepared to graduate from there, I considered other schools like State and South Alabama. Ultimately, I chose Ole Miss because of the prestigious reputation of the university and the School of Education. I also felt a sense of community immediately upon entering the Ole Miss campus.

How are you involved on campus?

I’m a global ambassador on campus, but I’m a bit more involved than just that. I work with almost every international student on campus as some point or another. I also lead several TOEFL study groups. TOEFUL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. It’s the English competency test. I’ve also started something called English Language Partners where I pair international students with English and/or education majors. This provides the international students with some one-on-one help and provides English and education majors the opportunity to work on their teaching skills. This is the first semester we’re doing this and I actually started it a little late in the semester but so far we have about 40 international students signed up and nearly the same number of American students involved.

What will you do after you graduate in May?

My plan is to attend graduate school in higher education and student affairs, hopefully here at Ole Miss. After that, I would like to possibly earn a doctorate and teach English as a second language.

What is your dream job?

My dream job might send me abroad. I’d love to meet people from all around the world. That’s the main reason why I work with international students and want to be an educator. When you work with people from different backgrounds, you get the chance to learn from them and experience a different culture. It’s really a win-win.

Interview by C. Green and Courtesy of UM School of Education

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