Looking for opportunities to put her unique and extensive K-12 knowledge to good use, Eva Sullivan applied to the English Language Fellow Program. But first she was careful to follow her school district’s guidelines for taking a leave of absence and to secure her benefits and insurance. Sullivan’s career has been varied. In addition to teaching elementary, middle school, and high school levels for over 16 years, she also taught at the adult education level for five years, and taught classes at the City University of New York for one year. Her previous international experience includes serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger for two years and teaching EFL in Gabon and the Comoros for four years.
Sullivan was placed at the Ministry of Education and Sports in Laos and she feels her K-12 background gave her strong credibility with her fellow teachers and the ministry. She was able to create model lessons and workshops based on her vast knowledge and wealth of resources from teaching ESOL for over 25 years. Sullivan focused on classroom management in her trainings, and worked on a large-scale curriculum revision project with the Ministry of Education. Without daily school bells marking her hours, Sullivan enjoyed having more control of her work schedule. Now that she’s returned to her K-12 position, Sullivan is sharing her experiences with fellow teachers, explaining how she has returned refreshed, with new confidence and leadership skills, and a better appreciation for what her ESOL students go through in the classroom.