Inspired by his own teachers, Keith M. Graham has made a lifelong commitment to the field of education. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English as a Second Language from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He holds a Master’s degree in education with an emphasis on international literacy from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and a Bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis on music education from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He holds teacher certifications from the State of Texas for Music EC-12, Generalist ESL EC-6, and Generalist ESL 4-8. Throughout his career, he has taken on roles as a music educator, language educator, teacher educator, and education researcher.
Career as a Music Educator
Keith M. Graham began his career in education as a music educator, receiving a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis on education from the University of Houston, studying under master music educators Tom Bennett, David Bertman, John Benzer, and Dr. Karen Wylie. While pursuing his degree, Keith M. Graham worked as both a marching band technician and a saxophone lesson teacher at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Texas. He did his student teaching in elementary music at Goforth Elementary and middle school band at League City Intermediate. In the 2010-2011 school year, he was an assistant band director in Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas where he taught high school band and piano at Crockett High School and 6th Grade Band at Pecan Springs Elementary and Lee Elementary. From 2013-2015, he taught a variety of music classes at Yuteh Private School in New Taipei City, Taiwan, including general music, classical guitar ensemble, saxophone, bucket drumming ensemble, as well as coaching singing groups for the city English song competition. Although he no longer exclusively works as a music educator, the lessons learned and experiences gained from this part of his career have been influential in who he is as a teacher.
Career as a Language Educator
Following graduation from the University of Houston, Keith M. Graham became curious about the countries and cultures of the international students he met during his studies. He followed that curiosity to Taiwan where he began his career as a language educator at a small English language school for elementary students in Keelung, Taiwan. What began as a short exploration of the world eventually blossomed into a passion and a career. In order to better meet the needs of his students, he pursued a Master of Education with an emphasis on international literacy under the mentorship of Dr. Burcu Ates and Dr. Mary Petron. This degree expanded his view of English language teaching and inspired him to explore content-based language teaching. After three years of working at the language school, he began a position in 2013 as a head teacher at Yuteh Private School in New Taipei City, a bilingual school with a content-based language curriculum. During his time at Yuteh, he taught a variety of courses in the middle grades including English/Language Arts, science, social studies, math, music, and computers.
Career as a Teacher Educator
After two years of demonstrating excellence in the classroom at Yuteh Private School, Keith M. Graham was promoted to the position of International Professional Development Coordinator, a position he held from 2015-2017. As PD Coordinator, he facilitated a variety of professional development opportunities such as new teacher orientation, department workshops, teacher book clubs, and Google Educator Certificate preparation. Topics included classroom management, differentiation, culture, writing instruction, classroom technology, developing as an educator, among others. In addition, Keith M. Graham mentored teachers pursuing teaching certifications from the United States and South Africa as well as conducted classroom coaching. The professional development program set up by Keith M. Graham at Yuteh Private School was seen as unique and innovative compared with others in the area for the variety of opportunities it offered to its staff.
Career as an Education Researcher
Keith M. Graham was exposed to the joy and excitement of education research during his master’s degree at Sam Houston State University. He continued doing classroom research and publishing based on his work at Yuteh Private School. Realizing he could make a big impact on education through his research, Keith M. Graham joined the Ph.D. program at Texas A&M University to cultivate his skills as a researcher and writer. His research interests include EFL teaching and teacher training, specifically content-based and English medium instruction, as well as cultural issues in English teaching.