Teaching language and science in Taiwan

Sabrina Tedeschi ’18 wins Fulbright

As the daughter of an educator and a future teacher, Sabrina Tedeschi ‘18 understands the value of knowledge, and she hopes to share her passion for learning both language and science with students in Taiwan through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

“I’m passionate about kids getting a good education, but there is so much more that goes into it. Teachers have a unique role in being a positive influence on kids, and being role models in their communities,” said Tedeschi, a double major in biology and secondary education. “I want to teach science because it’s a dynamic, interesting subject that kids will really need to understand for their daily lives in the future.”

Tedeschi said one of her most eye-opening courses at Wheaton was “Teaching English Language Learners,” which showed her “how to help empower non-native English speakers from diverse backgrounds and give support to those who often come from under-resourced communities.”

Another meaningful experience that contributed toward her desire to pursue a Fulbright was her semester in Bhutan, this past fall. For the internship part of the study-abroad program, Tedeschi taught fifth grade-level science twice a week at Jigme Losel Primary School.

“It was really fun to get to do some experiments with the kids; for example, I remember running this lab on density and seeing the kids just filled with joy and curiosity as they mixed together all the different solutions,” she said.

Tedeschi said she chose to double major in biology because she believes an education in science is essential.

“Changes in climate, agriculture and medicine continue to be important to our understanding of our planet’s future. Not only is teaching this scientific knowledge critical for future innovators, but it is also important and necessary to create an informed public that will understand and support scientific studies,” she said.

In addition to teaching English to youth, Tedeschi is interested in offering lessons for adults in her Taiwanese community, as well as possibly starting or partnering with a local environmental club.

This spring, Tedeschi is doing her teaching practicum at Foxborough Regional Charter School, leading two sections of eighth grade science and one section of ninth grade biology.

“I love that the school is a really diverse community, which is something that I never had growing up in central New Hampshire. This semester I’ve learned a lot about how to incorporate different perspectives into the classroom, and I really appreciate the insights my students have brought forward with their different backgrounds and cultures,” she said.

On campus, Tedeschi is involved in Tap Out Loud, as both a dancer and choreographer, as well as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Wind Symphony. She also has served as a tutor and mentor in Norton schools—a role she said has helped shape the way she teaches.

“I think science education has gotten a bad rep for being about memorizing facts, but in reality it allows students to take charge in their education—to design, investigate, test and explore. Science is fun!” Tedeschi said.

After her Fulbright year, Tedeschi hopes to bring that excitement for science to a classroom of middle or high school students.