Wixted Helps Newcomers Grow

Mrs. Wixted teaching one of her ELD classes.

Mrs. Wixted teaching one of her ELD classes.

Dayane Nunes, Staff Writer

 Ms.Wixted  is the only English Language Development (ELD) teacher at Trottier Middle School located in Southborough. She works with the ELD department, which includes the ELD educators in all 10 district schools. The ELD department has a total of 13 teachers, one tutor, one director, and one administrative assistant. Mrs. Wixted has worked at Trottier Middle School since 2004. 

An ELD teacher instructs immigrant students all the English they need to interact in a classroom at the moment, and she also makes sure her students learn all the English properly.  This job is important because she helps students get used to the United States and also helps them build strong relationships with others. She focuses on speaking, writing, listening, and reading in English.   This job also helps the school by making not only the newcomers comfortable but also making the teachers at school understand the new students and how best to teach them.

Ms. Wixted became a  teacher because she was inspired by her third-grade teacher Mrs. Berliner. Mrs. Berliner inspired her by making her learning fun. For example, she made her students memorize a poem then read in front of the class and did science projects at home. She also gave a sticker when they did their homework. 

After Mrs. Wixted became a teacher, she didn’t like it at all. She said, “I wanted to help kids, and I felt that I wasn’t doing that. I just felt like it was more about classroom management than it was about helping people.  I taught in a really rough district, and so a lot of kids hated teachers automatically and didn’t let you get to know them.  I hated being sworn at and treated badly when all I wanted to do was build relationships with students.” After all of the struggles she was going through, she didn’t give up. One day she saw a master’s program that was called Master’s in English Language Teaching (ELT), which is what they call ELD in Europe, and now it’s called Masters in TESOL.  She loved the master’s program in Ireland because she liked sociolinguistics, which is studying how people use language. Her dissertation was a linguistic landscape of Limerick, Ireland. She took pictures of language in use in the city and analyzed how it was used. It was really interesting to her. She also loved learning about other cultures.

Ms. Wixted is a mom, and outside the school, she likes to run, read books, and do craft projects. She went to school at Mount Mansfield Union at Jericho, Vermont, then she went to St. Michael’s College, then the University of Limerick. Her first teaching job was in 2006 in Newport, Vermont where she was a high school English teacher. Her mentor named Robert Wing was the one that helped her the most at her first teaching job. She chose this job at Trottier Middle School, where she currently is, because when she first came to her interview she thought the school seemed really nice. She also really liked the people at the school.