An interview with a career college english teacher

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1. AN INTERVIEW WITH A CAREER COLLEGE ENGLISH TEACHER Interviewer: Jessica Medina 2. DESCRIPTION This presentation is an interview with an English Teacher at a Career…
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  • 1. AN INTERVIEW WITH A CAREER COLLEGE ENGLISH TEACHER Interviewer: Jessica Medina
  • 2. DESCRIPTION This presentation is an interview with an English Teacher at a Career College. The college offers Associate’s degrees in vocational areas. The Interviewee teaches first and second year college English courses. Classes are held on campus in a traditional classroom setting.
  • 3. INTERVIEW QUESTION 1: WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING STYLE? I believe that good papers are a result of students choosing topics that interest them. When the standardized curriculum allows, I give students the freedom to choose their own topics. Some of my students come to class ready to research and write with little guidance, while others need help learning the research and writing process at varying levels. I spend time with those that need more help and let the others work on their own.
  • 4. INTERVIEW QUESTION 2: WHAT ARE YOUR STUDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL GOALS? Teaching in a career college is different than teaching in a state college; I teach in both. The students I teach here in the career college are going to school to complete a short program that will give them a career. These students are less concerned with English and more concerned with being able to provide for their families through this career education. Because they are immersed in their field of study, they chose topics that pertain to their specialized field. This is what they are learning about in their other classes and they are interested in these topics. They often use their research in my class for other classes, too.
  • 5. INTERVIEW QUESTION 3 WHAT ARE SOME OBSTACLES YOU FACE IN THIS ROLE? Most of my students here are working adults that are responsible for themselves and their family. Students are constantly affected by their work schedules and family life. Sometimes their personal responsibilities impede their learning. I work with them and I understand how difficult it can be to juggle school and a job and children. It’s a struggle to help them achieve and stick to the deadlines set up by the college’s curriculum. I extend deadlines in emergencies and get to know each student so I an adjust teaching to their situation.
  • 6. SUMMARY This Instructor is teaching according to the andragogical principles of student-centered, and student-directed learning (Merriam, Cafarella & Baumgartner, 2007). The teacher shows understanding for the necessity of adult learners to direct their own learning by choosing their own research and writing topics. The teacher also considers different levels and learning styles and personalizes instruction for each student. One of Knowles assumptions is that adult learners want to apply their learning to something immediate rather than in the distant future (Merriam, et. al., 2007). The instructor allows students to research their current vocational field of study, thus considering this need for relevance.
  • 7. SUMMARY (CONTINUED) McClusky’s theory of margin considers the impact that life’s burdens have on learning (Merriam, et. al., 2007). For learning to take place, the student must have the life resources necessary to learn. The Instructor portrayed understanding of this theory when she considered the external factors that cause obstacles for her students. She was flexible and willing to help them balance their life responsibilities and educational deadlines. Reference Merriam, S., Caffarella, R., & Baumgartner, L. (2006). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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