Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota about 15 miles from Canada. Immediately upon graduating with a B.A. in English, I headed to sunny Phoenix.
I remember quite vividly those early grammar lessons in elementary school and how much I loved them. I’ve always enjoyed grammar and language studies. I have studied several languages over the years, and right now, I am learning Norwegian, the language of my ancestors.
I have been teaching English since 2010. It is a second career for me. My M.A. is in Communications with an emphasis on advocacy. After a very long career in media and communications, I went back to school and got a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages. I care very much about adult literacy and education and I have only taught adults.
What do you like most about teaching ESL students?
I enjoy the students the most. I admire their courage, perseverance, and their dedication to learning. Having taught students from all over the world, I am often moved by their stories, and I learn a lot from my students. I like to have fun and laugh with them as they navigate the quirky irregularities of the American English.
I first taught at a private school that tried to meet the individual needs of many of its students, and I accepted the challenge of teaching some unusual classes. I worked with actors to master the American accent; I taught aviation English to a pilot; I even worked with a European champion race car driver whose goal was to teach race driving in America. In the process, I had to learn about car racing.
Phoenix College is special to me because it’s where I prepared for my career as a radio broadcaster, taking classes in production, announcing, voice and diction, advertising, and even acting.
My two daughters are grown-ups and they and my two grandchildren are my favorite people to hang out with. I find myself in service to my two spoiled little dogs most days, but I do enjoy watching movies in my free time. My pet project involves writing my great-grandmother’s dramatic story of survival. At the top of my bucket list is spending a summer in Norway.