My mother taught middle school for over 30 years, so one can hardly blame her for telling me never to become a teacher. I listened for a long while, settling instead into a career as a manager and book buyer for a chain of stores after graduating from UNC-Greensboro with a B.A. in English. However, the time came when the retail business held no appeal for me. I tried out a few other jobs here and there, and then went back to school for an M.F.A. in creative writing at UNC-W. Upon graduation, I applied here at CFCC, where I had been teaching part-time for over a year, and was hired in 2001.
I am fortunate in our department to have a supportive and incredibly accomplished faculty and staff. We share ideas and techniques and consult with each other constantly about the most effective methods for reaching and teaching our students. In addition, the administration works to keep our facilities updated technologically, which allows us to employ the latest techniques for keeping our students fresh and competitive.
Right now I primarily teach Argumentative Research, Introduction to Literature (another form of argumentative research), and Creative Writing. On top of our classroom responsibilities, our faculty and creative writing students work to produce projects such as our literary journal, Portals, and our annual community arts performance, Arts Poetica.
From developmental courses to creative writing, we always encourage our students to push harder and produce better. We emphasize effective writing through a mastery of grammar and mechanics, as well as carefully written and organized essays and research papers. We stress critical thinking in our students, not only through analysis and discussion, but also through teaching them to examine the particular approaches they use to assess and learn. I truly believe that the higher order skills we teach our students are essential for success, and from what I often read, I suspect they aren’t getting these skills in very many other places. That’s why I usually love my job. What my mother did not admit for a long time is that she loved most of those thirty years that she taught, and when I finally became a teacher, she was proud and happy for me.