Name: Tommy Roers
Major(s)/minor(s): Secondary Education and Spanish with a secondary licensure in Teachers of English Language Learners
Graduation Year: 2019
Employer name and title: English as a Second Language Teacher, Pike High School
Why did you decide to attend Butler?
I was drawn to Butler because of the personalized experience. When I visited campus as a high school student, I felt like I just clicked with everyone there. All of the professors seemed to take a genuine interest in me, which I did not find at other colleges that I visited. Ultimately, I had a gut feeling that Butler felt like home.
What were some of your favorite parts of being a student in the College of Education?
The College of Education (COE) is potentially the best place in the world, but definitely the best place at Butler University! I was able to build so many strong relationships with like-minded people who love the world of education and love the thought of trying to impact the world in a positive way, however we could. Spending time with people in COE feels like one big hug.
In addition, you’re out in classrooms right away. Whether you’re shadowing at a Butler Lab School or going to Shortridge High School or spending time at Pike High School, you realize that you’re no longer just a student—you’re on the other side, preparing to be a leader and an agent of change in the classroom.
What was your first professional experience after graduating from Butler?
My academic advisor, Dr. Adams, encouraged me to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program because she knew how much I valued my study abroad experience in Chile, where I studied comparative education and social change. Pursuing the Fulbright would allow me to continue my love of traveling and teaching. I knew the Fulbright was very competitive, but thanks to the encouragement and mentorship from my COE professors, I applied and was ultimately accepted to teach English in Uruguay.
While there, I worked in both public and private schools and taught students ranging from elementary all the way to those enrolled in a university. It was such an incredible experience to teach English in a completely different country and culture and get to know professionals from all over the world.
After returning from Uruguay, I secured a position teaching English as a Second Language at Pike High School. I love my work at Pike, and each day, each hour, is different. In my role, I teach students who have recently arrived in the United States and may or may not speak any English. I support students with work they have in other classes and offer a more guided type of study hall. I help translate, I work with other teachers to modify assignments, and keep a close watch on how my students are doing in their classes.
How did Butler prepare you for life after college?
One of the most important things that Butler and the COE taught me is how to be an advocate and how to be a good human being. Yes, I was taught how to be a great teacher and how to be effective at delivering content, but I learned that it doesn’t matter how good I am at teaching content if my students don’t trust or respect me. Butler and the COE really helped me prepare for and understand that.
What advice would you give a prospective student considering Butler?
My advice is come here! Butler is second to none in offering a personalized college experience. There are tons of examples, but just one memory is going to my Spanish professor’s house, drinking tea and coffee, and watching Spanish movies. I have a lot of friends who went to larger universities, and they never really had the opportunity to personally know their advisor and other faculty members, much less spend significant time with them, both inside the classroom and out. This experience is really unique to Butler and is what makes it such a special place to be.