At Middlesex Community College, Ella Wang is pursuing a childhood dream of becoming a teacher. From Beijing, China — and now living in Shirley — she has been given a new understanding of what it means to be a teacher. The support and guidance Middlesex has provided is inspiring Wang’s own teaching, according to a recent press release from MCC.
“Here, teachers give me the feeling of kindness, equality and respect,” she said. “Every employee I met in different departments at MCC shared this style. I think this feeling is very important for every student. MCC supports me, treats me kindly and encourages me to study hard!”
Upon arriving in the United States, Wang started taking classes in MCC’s English as a second language program. After going through the Adult Learning Center and Links Program — to gain skills and experience to succeed at the higher education level — she chose to continue studying early education.
Whether taking a course for her major or completing a general education prerequisite, Wang is absorbing valuable information. While English courses are improving her English language communication skills, history and geography courses are providing a better sense of the U.S. culture and location. In her education classes, Wang is also learning that the curriculum is focused on children and their development.
“There is a wealth of information and detailed standards,” she said. “Teachers can easily find relevant resources or institutions to seek support. These are the answers found in many courses. Every class is very important and lets me gain a lot.”
Professor Nancy Pynchon has been the most helpful during Wang’s time at the college, including by offering guidance on completing coursework and starting the job search process. The approach of all of MCC’s professors to show students patience and kindness stands out to Wang most.
“The faculty here genuinely give anyone the opportunity to learn and are eager to help,” she said.
Wang believes that communicating with professors makes it easier to manage expectations of courses. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, she has registered for online and accelerated classes — including eight-week mini-mesters — that have been a better fit for her schedule. She has also found that by being open with professors, she can ask for an accommodation or extension.
“I like this kind of class because I need to balance work, family and study,” Wang said. “This type of course is more suitable for full-time or part-time workers, saving transportation costs and flexibility to adjust time according to my own needs.”
After graduating from MCC, Wang plans to transfer to Fitchburg State University to continue studying early education. MCC has been a stepping stone for her to get used to higher education in America, be successful in her studies, and work toward her lifelong goal, she said.
“I hope I can realize my dream after I came to America,” Wang said. “I love children and enjoy spending time with them. The smiling faces and whimsy of the children bring me so much joy!”