I decided to be a teacher when I was very young, a goal I am glad I kept because teaching has been a lifelong passion. After getting a BS degree in Elementary Education, my first job out of college was teaching Adult Basic Education (ABE). While getting an MA degree in Environmental Education, I took the first class in teaching ABE that San Francisco State offered. I worked for a non-profit tutoring agency, filled a backpack with books, and rode the bus to students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, which included ESL and GED students. When I moved up here, I was offered a GED class in Port Townsend that “might run once a year” and took it.
Since then, with help from an initial partnering with other agencies, I have taught at Peninsula College just about every quarter. This has included ABE, GED, ESL, special life skills and employability classes, parenting classes, and most recently, HS21+, which awards high school credit and a diploma to anyone over the age of 21. This program has helped so many students find employment, speak English, transition to college classes, gain self-confidence and the skills to empower themselves, or improve their ability to help their children succeed in school. I know that I am contributing to a better world when former students give me a hug and express their gratitude years later.
I love working in my own community. Port Townsend is a wonderful place to live and work, and the local staff and faculty are very supportive. I enjoy teaching in our newly renovated building with state-of-the-art technology. The technological skills students learn in my class are essential for success in higher education and the workplace.
At the end of each day, it’s really about interacting with students and seeing them succeed.