B.A. in English Literature, University of Florida
M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), University of Central Florida
Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, Nova Southeastern University
For Dr. Amy Bratten, teaching at Southeastern was a natural choice because it kept her in Polk County, where she has been living, learning, and teaching for all but five years of her life. Dr. Bratten stumbled upon TESOL classes as an undergraduate at the University of Florida, but she quickly got hooked on the subject, compiling enough classes for an undergraduate minor and then taking an MA specifically in TESOL at University of Central Florida. She began her teaching career in the Polk County School District (PCSD) in 2000 and has taught language arts, intensive reading, and ESOL classes. Her classes have been populated with students from varying countries, cultural backgrounds, and linguistic backgrounds, one class representing 17 languages at one time! In addition to her work as a classroom teacher, Dr. Bratten has served as a dance team coach, cheerleading coach, department chair, teacher trainer, cooperative learning trainer, and ESOL coordinator at four schools in PCSB. She has also served as a teacher resource specialist trainer at the District Office ESOL Department, facilitating teacher, counselor, and administrator training sessions. Dr. Bratten and her husband, Jake, have also adopted two pre-teen children.
Alongside her teaching in secondary schools, Dr. Bratten has also had experience in post-secondary education, teaching adult ESOL classes at Valencia Community College and education classes at University of South Florida. She has also conducted guest lectures on ESOL at Florida Southern College and Walt Disney World, the latter have been a seminar for managers working with employees whose native language is not English. Dr. Bratten is excited to be teaching at Southeastern because it allows her to help shape the teachers of the future, preparing them for more fulfilling teaching experiences and helping them transition from the theory of the textbook to the reality of the classroom. She hopes that her students catch the joy of being a K-12 educator and that they see how Christian principles naturally blend with education on a daily basis, no matter who the students are.
Dr. Bratten teaches a variety of education courses at Southeastern, but she will be found most regularly in Field Study courses, Student Teaching, and Empowering ESOL Teachers: An Overview and Applied Linguistics. She is the program coordinator for the Master of Arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Her research interests are the efficacy of ESOL teacher training programs, specifically Florida’s ESOL teacher training module, and best practices of effective professional development.