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PRESS RELEASE - MAY 8, 2014

Teaching Student in front of class
ASCC spring 2014 Bachelor of Education prospective graduate Fa'aletaua Saili (left) engages the focus of a class of Pavaia'i Elementary students using music. (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

Teaching Student with class
Pavaia'i Elementary students bid fond farewell to ASCC spring 2014 Bachelor of Education prospective graduate Fa'aletaua Saili (center), who worked with them for a portion of the semester. (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

Teaching Student in front of class
ASCC spring 2014 Bachelor of Education prospective graduate Fa'aletaua Saili (left) engages the focus of a class of Pavaia'i Elementary students using music. (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

ASCC-TED Prospective Graduate Says “Being a Teacher is a Calling”

May 8, 2014

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Teacher Education student Ms. Fa’aletaua Saili, 23, of Nuuuli is on course to receive her Bachelor of Education degree during the 60th American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Commencement on Friday, May 16th. Ms. Saili completed the required student teaching portion of the B.Ed. program in early May when her students in Level-4 at Pavaia’i Elementary School participated in her “Culmination” exercise by giving a presentation based on the knowledge gained during their six weeks under her supervision. Before an small invited audience including Principal Tasha Atio’o and faculty from Pavaia’i and the ASCC Teacher Education Department (TED), Ms. Saili’s students offered a wide-ranging display on the many forms of diversity within the United States.

“I would love to teach Social Studies,” explained Ms. Saili. “I love learning about history, people, places and events, and helping students make a connection with past histories and gain a sense of appreciation for it.” She traces her interest in the teaching profession to her early experiences helping others in her church to learn. “Personally I feel that being a teacher is a calling,” she reflected. “I've always wanted to teach ever since I was young. Having church callings such as Primary and Sunday School teacher has helped me develop a sincere desire to pursue a degree in teaching.”

Ms. Saili graduated with honors from Tafuna High School in 2008. By fall 2010 she had completed an Associates of Arts degree at ASCC with a double major in Liberal Arts and Elementary Education. She started the B.Ed program in spring 2011, but when she was very near to completion she made the decision to put school on hold and serve on a full-time mission for the LDS Church. “I left home for 18 months to serve on my mission at Salt Lake City Temple Square in Utah and Santa Rosa Mission in California,” she said. “While serving my mission, my passion for teaching continued to grow, which I took as a confirmation that this was the path for my future.”

She resumed her studies with the ASCC-TED in fall of last year, and will soon be holding the B.Ed. degree she made it her goal to attain. “There are no words to fully express how grateful I am for the ASCC Teacher Education program,” she said. “I know it has helped me develop my teaching skills in and has equipped me with competence in a number of areas like content and pedagogy, the Samoan Language and culture, applying technology to teach and increase student achievement, designing and planning instruction that serves diverse learners, using a variety of assessments models, and the principles of professionalism.”

Following graduation, Ms. Saili hopes to secure a teaching position locally while continuing her studies towards a Masters degree by taking online courses. “I would highly recommend the ASCC-TED Bachelors program to young men and women who are thinking of becoming teachers,” she said. “The feeling of being an effective teacher is priceless! At the same time, I don’t regret putting school on hold while I served my mission, because I know and believe that it's never too late to continue your education.”

To find out more about the ASCC Teacher Education Department, visit the College’s website at: www.amsamoa.edu.