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Jacob Tessler


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I am a lifetime teacher who is looking to further my education in order to be the best possible educator for my students. My goal is to focus my studies on how we can treat classic literature in modern formats such as web-comics, virtual reality, and other technological advancements in order to bridge the history of the Literary canon and the reality of where our future generations are focused. I have spent the last ten years of my life being a kind, compassionate, role model for the next generation and, with my further degrees, look to continue that process for all my years to come. The process to get here, however, has been both difficult and rewarding. My undergraduate work was poor and got me expelled due to a lack of focus and dedication. I learned those traits by going back and not only finishing my Bachelor's Degree, but by going onwards to obtain a Masters and becoming a master teacher in my profession. Those lessons, however, were costly. I currently owe over 135 thousand dollars in school debt which I am faithfully repaying on an income based repayment plan. It is only due to the fact that I am in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that I would ever be free of the student loan debt. As I begin my journey towards a Doctorate, I am searching for any avenue to proceed that does not require me to take on additional loans and undo the decade of repayments thus far.


University of Central Florida

Bachelor's degree program
2001 - 2009
  • Majors:
    • English Language and Literature, General

University of Central Florida

Master's degree program
2001 - 2011
  • Majors:
    • Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language, Other


  • Desired degree level:

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • English Language and Literature, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Higher Education

    • Dream career goals:

      English Professor

    • Professor - New Student Experience

      Valencia College
      2019 – Present5 years
    • 8th Grade English Teacher

      School District of Osceola County
      2009 – Present15 years



    2016 – Present8 years


    • Present


    • Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Society for Creative Anachronism — Officer
      2016 – Present
    AMPLIFY Chess Masters Scholarship
    In the center of my classroom is a chess board. I have been a teacher for the last ten years and this board, a gift from my father, has lived as the center piece of my classroom every single year. During down times, inevitably, the students want to play and I make them play against me; each game is a teaching moment as I show them critical thinking, logical decision making, and above all - perseverance. I tell them, from the first game, that I will never let them win for one reason and one reason alone; the day they beat me will be a day they know they have earned it. That lesson carries over into the classroom when they struggle as I remind them of the long process from first learning the game to the point where they can beat me, an admittedly low ranked enthusiast. When they need to visualize something or the flow or writing in an essay, the chess pieces are the first thing I grab; black and white pawns and knights have been everything from opposing and counter claims to contrasting opinions of authors on a multitude of topics. And always, in the center of my room or the corner of my desk, the board awaits. It is also there when the students come in during their lunch to play, but more so to talk. The game becomes an excuse for the meeting when what they really need is not chess technique but mentorship. And always, at the end of every game, a handshake and a promise of the next game to come. I am returning to school myself to test my own logic, strategies, and perseverance in a doctoral program that will allow me to study how new advancements in technology can be used to transform and make classic literature more relevant to today's youth. Like the chessboard on the corner of my desk, these studies become a bridge between the world of antiquity and there here-and-now. My own chess lessons, from the first time my father taught me to play, and the ones I have given my students over the years, have prepared me to make all the right moves when I seek that Doctorate.
    Nikhil Desai "Perspective" Scholarship
    The moment that changed my personal and academic life forever was being expelled from College. I was a Gifted Student in High School and breezed through my classes with almost no effort, earning a large scholarship from the State of Florida and enrolling in the University of Central Florida immediately after graduation. It was expected, of course, that I do so and continue the excellence that my High School had taught me. After all, I was one of the Gifted Children for whom learning came easy. I was in for a rude surprise when College required more than token effort. This may have also been due to not going to class because, of course, I was the Smart Kid and could just read the textbook in order to pass my classes. When describing these times to my students, as I am now a Middle School English teacher,, I often talk about how I made the classic mistakes and needed to learn the classic lessons; things like the importance of hard work, studying, and remaining focused. In the Spring of 2006 I got into a car accident which forced me to medically withdraw from school for the term; in my absence, UCF expelled me for poor academic performance. As a result, I was forced to contend with the humbling fact that I, as the Smart Child, had still managed to fail. As part of that self reflection, I came to realize that part of my problem was that my career path, Theater, was something fun to do but did not have the sense of meaning and purpose I was looking for in my life. When I chose to re-enroll, at our local community college first, it was with a renewed dedication to my studies. I had -wanted- to be in theater. I -needed- to teach, to give back, and to pay forward all the company of kindnesses that had been done to me during my education. The effect on my grades were nothing less than remarkable as I found a renewed purpose in attending class, doing work, and learning everything I could get my hands on. In the time since, I graduated with my associates degree, re-enrolled in UCF for my Bachelors and then continued on towards my Masters. I keep my college transcripts, with expulsion and all, to show as living proof to my lower income students that it is possible to fail and then continue onwards to success, that is is possible to to struggle and yet succeed, and further that it is possible to achieve dreams which seem unattainable. Being expelled taught me this; now, as I begin my journey towards my Doctoral program, I keep those lessons in mind as I prepare to face the rigors of my program because I know that the knowledge I will gain will make me an even better teacher for the students of tomorrow.
    Amplify Continuous Learning Grant
    As a veteran teacher for over a decade I have always taught my students that they should maintain a growth mindset and that so long as they were willing to put in the hard work they could be successful. It is time I put my money, somewhat literally, where my mouth is and return to school to further my own education. During the last ten years I have served as a public school teacher in a Title 1 school while teaching at the local community college as well. During that time I have been privileged to touch the lives of countless young adults and help them on their academic journey; now it is time for me to resume my own. I am seeking support to begin my Doctoral program in English so that I can take my love of rhetoric, writing, and literature to greater academic heights and expand my own knowledge of how modern technologies and classic literature can meet in new and transformative ways. If accepted into my program, I will be focused on learning a variety of new technologies that I have not needed in my day to day life as part of the program to examine how modern media and mediums can affect how our students interact with the literary canon. Part of this examination involves being able to allow for a variety of new voices in both print and multimedia sources and if I am going to be able to effectively teach students who are progressively more technologically minded, I need to be able to speak to them where they are and bridge my love of classic literature with a future that their hands will write, code, and create.