"Kindness is the language
which the deaf can hear
and the blind can
Writing and ideas always inspire
one of the many reasons why I became an English teacher. I like
thinking of teaching as a superpower. Teaching provides me with an
opportunity to connect with people, to make a difference in their
lives. I feel privileged to be part of the lives of my students and I
really want to leave them with something that allows them to recognize
their own superpower.
I started my own academic career as a student in a community college
and it was there that I discovered a passion for learning and,
later, for teaching. I recognized then and still recognize today
the power and need for the community college. An article published in
the Chronicle of Higher Education titled "Community College Changed My
Life" adeptly describes the reasons why students find hope in a
community college and why teachers are drawn to teaching there:
Community colleges are crammed with the
most inspiring people I have ever met. Our students come from around
the corner and across continents. They are the boy or girl next door.
They are the midlife adult just laid off. They are refugees from war,
poverty, substance abuse, or a life of violence. They may have done
well in high school, or they may not have completed high school at all.
Education--in particular, the community
college--offers students a new start, new possibilities, and
teaching in a community college provides me with the honor of becoming
part of each student's journey to new discoveries, to empowerment and
to success. I am privelaged to be part of that process.
We all need to get to know those students, not just
for their benefit
(although there is that), but for our own. Many of them continue to
four-year institutions. Others become our nurses, radiology
technicians, dental hygienists, automotive technicians,
emergency-service personnel, child-care providers, and much more.
To be honest, though, many of them do not go on to
their dream careers
or to further education. Some drop out because of personal challenges.
We lose others because of policies that ignore or diminish their
experiences, including a financial-aid system that assumes a student is
of the traditional college age, a welfare system that emphasizes
low-wage work over education, and a K-12 system that distributes money
inequitably to schools.
When we lose students, we also lose out on their
Through teaching and writing, I hope to promote discussion about these
issues affecting community-college students and affecting our
community, hence, affecting us all.
I am happy to share that I am a proud
mommy to an adorable boy, Finnegan. He
truly defines my world, which has changed dramatically since he
arrived. My husband, Patrick
(photographed here in on our trip to Guatemala), is also a teacher at
the College of Marin. We enjoy exploring new family
adventures like camping, traveling, reading, and waking up in the
middle of the night to chase monsters away. Oh, and my favorite
author continues to be Mark Twain, an inspiration for our son's name
since one of my favorite books is Huckleberry Finn.