Michelle Ratering

MA in Educational Studies: Teaching and Learning

Student status: Current student, full time

Geographic region of origin: South Lyon, Michigan

Previous education: Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a Bachelors of Arts in Secondary Education, with a focus on English and English as a Second Language.

Prior to joining the program: Most recently, I had been working as an English teacher at an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. During my three years there, I taught grades 8-12, both literature and language acquisition courses, and spent a lot of my free time traveling and learning Indonesian.

Why the Teaching & Learning program?
I chose the program because I was looking for one that was both customizable in coursework and rigorous enough to prepare me for potentially pursuing academia beyond my master's degree. The design of the Teaching & Learning program is very flexible, and has the potential to pave the way to many different post-degree opportunities.

As a classroom teacher, I wanted to become a better teacher and engage with new research on best practice, but I also didn't want to discount potentially going on for a PhD. With the Teaching & Learning program, I am able to choose classes that directly apply to my work as a classroom teacher, while simultaneously building my research skills. Generally speaking, my research interests lie in how culture and language influence student learning, but I am curious about so many topics that it’s hard for me to narrow it down beyond that!

Internship: I haven’t yet begun my internship and the plan is still in progress. I am hoping to use my experience working at an International Baccalaureate school to connect with the current research being conducted at the University of Michigan.

Highlights of the Michigan experience: So far, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to take classes with students outside of my cohort. The class sizes are quite small, so when I am in a course with other graduate students who aren't part of my program, it's easy to get to know them. This is really important to me because I went to undergrad at a smaller school, where interpersonal relationships were an essential part of being in the academic community. Thankfully, with small graduate classes, it hasn't been a struggle to develop a similar sense of community.

Diversity, equity and inclusion: As someone who has recently lived abroad for a number of years, I believe that learning in a diverse community is invaluable. Thankfully, the University of Michigan values diversity, and it is reflected not only in the demographics of people in my classes, but in the coursework itself. It is clear in each of my classes that U of M is actively supporting and developing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and consequently is empowering students to value the same.

Michelle invites prospective students to contact her with any questions about the program and student life.

Ratering’s program of study: