I have a genuine concern for my students. I try to see them as people,
as individuals with unique sets of priorities and needs which often
are very different from my own. I love to teach!
I tailor assignments in such a way that students are invited
to draw upon their own areas of expertise while at the same
time learning to write and speak effectively, read intelligently,
and sharpen their ability to think critically about the world around
That I regularly receive thank you notes from several each semester
suggests that I am on the right track. I continue to get letters
from students who have moved on--simply to keep in touch and to
thank me for the foundations I helped provide them with.
There is always room for improvement, and I am always looking
for new ways to create a friendly, supportive classroom environment
which allows my students to achieve whatever level of success they
are capable of. I have found that varying the method of delivery
between lecture, interactive workshops, and small group discussions
heightens student interest. Whenever I can, I try to give the students
a sense that they are, in part, responsible for what goes on in
class and for their own success or failure. Most respond favorably
to this shifting of the traditional academic burden.
I try to maintain a good rapport with them, always looking for ways
keep in touch with the kinds of things they find interesting in
order to have a greater sensitivity to their world. To that end,
I always try to incorporate current events, the arts, literature,
film, and music into the classroom activities.
With regard to classroom expectations, I believe that a practical,
working knowledge of the language is most important for students.
Whether they are native or non-native speakers, they need to be
able to understand the grammar/usage and to speak in a a manner
that is appropriate for their personal, business, and/or academic
needs. (I believe that an over-emphasis on rules and regulations
is counterproductive to learning a language.)
I have no formal ESL training. However, because I am fluent in
Spanish and have worked for 25 years teaching grammar, composition,
and literature to students at all levels of English--including
students from Germany, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua,
Honduras, and Costa Rica--I believe that I am well-prepared to work
with any student who wants to learn English, especially any Spanish-speaking
I have taught remedial English since 1986.
What that means is that I have worked with students at the most
basic level. Although they are native speakers, their understanding
of English is sub-standard.They can communicate, obviously, but
I have tried to show them how to use the language in a way that
is considered acceptable at a formal business/academic level.
I have taught Spanish to English speakers for the past 5 years.
Because I understand Spanish grammar, I am well-prepared to help
native Spanish speakers with the differences between the two languages.
(For a reference on this, please feel free to contact Joyce
Hinsley, the Chair of Amarillo College's Department of Modern
I have worked extensively with computers and education,
creating and delivering three online classes. (For more on this,
click here or here.)
Also, I have an online
interactive grammar review which should prove valuable for
I have a Ph.D. in English from Florida State University (1982)
and an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa (1994)
that I received after 3 summers of study in Spain.
I retired as a tenured, full professor of English and Spanish
at Amarillo College, Amarillo, TX, USA.
I believe that I would make a valuable addition to your staff. Should
you require any further information, please feel free to contact