About Angela Mooney, Ph.D.
The moment I met my second grade teacher, I knew I wanted to be an educator. I actually had a dream about what she would be like the night before that first day in my new school. She turned out to be all I had dreamed about and more. She was kind and caring. More importantly, she noticed me. My fifth grade teacher cemented my career ideas. She was a strong woman who moved about the classroom with confidence and purpose, but she, too, noticed me. These early influences went with me into the elementary classroom when I met my own groups of students. We laughed, created, and learned, and I endeavored to notice them.
I knew I wanted to teach English learners when I met Maria. She was a young Hispanic woman who showed up in the doorway of an adult education program where I was teaching that was supposed to include an English language program, although I didn’t know it. We used pieces of English and Spanish and a lot of charades to interact. It was awkward and cumbersome, but she came back the next day. A few days later she brought one, and then two, of her sisters. We laughed and talked. They learned more English. I learned what I was created to do.
I know that one reason I was created is to positively influence the educational lives of English learners. All students deserve to be noticed by the teachers in their lives, but English learners are sometimes overlooked because educators don’t know how to address their academic and linguistic needs. They want to, but they just don’t know where to start. This is where I can help.
My Professional Life
For over 25 years, I have taught students at the K-12, university, and adult levels in seven states across the United States. Many of those years have been spent with English learners with a wide variety of native languages and English proficiency needs.
I earned a Ph.D. in Adult Education from Penn State University, a MA in Intercultural Studies and TESOL from Wheaton College – Chicago, and a BS in Elementary Education from Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Currently, I serve as an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education/TESL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at a public university in the Oklahoma City metro where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses to prepare educators to work with English learners.
Through prolonged professional development initiatives, I also partner with elementary school administrators and staff to strengthen their capacity for effective family/school engagement.
About the Dear Dr. Mooney online community
As a teacher of English learners (ELs), you may feel that you and your students are forgotten. School policies and programs often diminish ELs’ unique academic and linguistic needs while other, equally important, student needs are pushed to the forefront. If you did not have adequate preparation to teach ELs, or you lack on-going support, it would not be surprising that you feel frustrated or isolated in your work.
Dear Dr. Mooney was designed to help by providing real-time advice, support, and resources to teachers like you! Articles offer advice about actual teachers’ questions and provide information to increase your knowledge and effectiveness. Discussion Forums provide a place to interact with colleagues, share your ideas, and discover you are not alone. Timely resources are suggested and reviewed, providing for quicker implementation in your classroom.
Teaching English learners can be challenging or even frustrating, but it can also be very rewarding if you have the knowledge and support you need. Dear Dr. Mooney was designed with you and your students in mind.