Xiaoming (Sarah) Liu leads the way for adult students transitioning from successful careers in other professions to become teachers.
Whether you are 25 or 50 years old with a career in marketing or accounting, it’s not too late to become a teacher. Just ask Xiaoming (Sarah) Liu, associate professor of elementary education, who is the liaison for TU’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)/Elementary Education program. She also directs the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in elementary education, which is targeted to practicing teachers seeking advanced degrees.
“Towson’s education program is among the best in the state, and TU produces more teachers than any university or college in Maryland,” says Liu. “Nearly 100 percent of our students are hired after they graduate, which makes choosing TU an easy decision for future teachers.”
Liu knows her MAT students have made tough decisions. “It takes a great deal of motivation and perseverance to change careers. Deciding to return to the classroom gives these students a greater sense of responsibility and commitment,” says Liu, who is also interested in giving students a global view of education. She co-created a study abroad program for TU students to visit China, where she was born, and has coordinated trips to the TU campus for international educators. Most recently, a group of 14 college students from Taiwan, who want to be teachers of English, visited local elementary schools and attended lectures and TU class sessions.
Her international interests are reflected in her research in language and literacy. In an effort to equalize the playing field for young English language learners, Liu introduced a portfolio project to help them document, through artwork and pictures, their knowledge and understanding of English. Her work examining meaning making from wordless picture books by bilingual readers has been published in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.