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Viviene Brown Watson, M.S. Curriculum and Instruction, 2022

by Monica Smith

Nov 16, 2022, 2:00 PM.

A recently graduated master’s student has the confidence to create curricula and teach immigrants with her new skills, knowledge and abilities and hopes to inspire others.
Viviene Brown Watson
Viviene Brown Watson

As an immigrant to the U.S., Viviene Brown Watson understands what it’s like to come to a new country and to experience learning in a new way. She recently graduated with a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction and believes that she’ll be able to translate her knowledge, skills and abilities to help the thousands of children immigrating to the U.S. as she creates lessons that have impact. She wants to help them provide meaning for their lives and give them the lessons they need to adjust to the world around them. 

As a health care worker at an American Indian reservation, Brown Watson already has a service heart and looks forward to moving over to instruction to help even more communities. She provided her thoughts on her recent student experience with FIU.  

What is your degree area of study and when did or do you graduate? 

I earned my FIU Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education track, August 2022.  

What has been your favorite class and why? 

It is very hard to say which was my favorite class because all the classes I took provided different learning concepts and understanding. What I can tell you is that during my final semester, the social studies course was very challenging. Professor Butler pushed me to limits that I did not know that I could achieve. This class had us all on our feet. I can say I really developed an inquiring mind and was given the tools and guidance to help the students that I will be teaching. I’ll be able to help them understand more about the world around them, and by helping them use their real-life experiences to investigate, experiment and answer questions. 

What immediately applicable skills have you learned? 

The skills I have learned that I was able to apply immediately are how to use different strategies to get students to be more involved in the lessons and getting them to feel comfortable as they learn. 

How does your degree help you in your work or how do you see it helping you in the future? 

Currently, I work as a nurse, but I am looking forward to getting into the classroom, whether in health or in public schools, to offer instruction that is beneficial for all students despite ethnicity, race or culture. I would like to provide instruction to students so they will have an academic experience that will be enjoyable and definitely one that will impact their lives throughout their academic and professional endeavors. 

Why did you decide to study this area and choose this program? 

As the world is changing, so is the classroom. There is a huge amount of migration globally and with migration, children are entering the classroom from diverse ethnicities; therefore, educators need to be prepared to welcome these students and, most importantly, get them motivated and engaged because they will be facing many social and emotional changes. They are entering a new lifestyle, community, making new friends and maybe learning a new language. 

With all this in mind, I believe I can make a huge impact in helping these students by being a good role model within the classroom. I am confident that by applying various strategies in my instruction, I can help them create autonomy over their learning. 

What is one interesting thing you learned? 

As a person who was born and schooled in Jamaica, I was surprised to learn that some subjects are considered core subjects and others did not get the same recognition. This was surprising because I believed that all subjects are intertwined and consist of other disciplines, for example, social studies. I came to understand from my colleagues that some school districts do not have a social studies curriculum. We know that social studies involves mathematics, politics, geography, literacy and other disciplines, therefore, it was very surprising to learn of this happening. 

Would you recommend this program to other students? 

I would definitely recommend this program to other students. I personally gained a wealth of knowledge and all my professors had our interest—they never hesitated to answer questions, pushed us to our greatest potential and supported us throughout this program. 

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