Thursday, June 3, 2010


A: How long have you been teaching English?
Q: I taught different writing and literature courses for about 12 years.

A: When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
Q: It’s interesting. I don’t know that there was one moment where I decided . After I finished college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went on to graduate school. I said to myself “just go to more school”. When I was in grad school, I had to teach as part of earning my degree. I came to find that I enjoyed it, so I continued.

A: How many years of education are needed to be a college English teacher?
Q: Full time faculties here have Ph D. I am a full time faculty. Different people take different amount of time to complete their degrees. Usually, It takes another 6 or 7 years after graduating from college. It took me 7 years to get my Ph D. It took more than to become a doctor.

A: Do you have other functions or duties for the school?
Q: Teaching is just one part of the job here. I also do writing and publishing. Another part of the job is called ‘service’, such as serving on committees in the college, organizing events or working with student clubs.

A: Do you work on admissions? (admitting or recruiting students)

Q: No, we do not because we have “open admissions” here. We do student advising when they get here..

A: Can you tell me about a typical day or week as a college English teacher?
Q: Sure. I usually teach 3 classes per semester. I spend Sundays preparing for the week to come: prepare lessons and finish grading. Monday through Thursday, I’ll be teaching, at meetings or talking to students and other people. That takes a whole day and I do a little more grading and preparing at home. Usually, Friday is my day off. Today is an exception because I am meeting our students for a field trip. Usually I like to cook in my apartment and shopping on Fridays. I prepare for the next week on Saturdays and Sundays. As part of my job, I do writing during the summer because I normally don’t have time during the semester while teaching.

A: Can you tell me more about your day-to-day workload, whether you have enough time to help every student in your class?
Q:That’s a great question. What do you think the answer is?
I don’t think you have enough time for every student. But when I work on the online blog, you always respond very fast.
Q: It’s true, I like the online blog too because it’s a little easier sometime than having to meet with our students. Students are very busy too, a lot of time they don’t have time to come in to get help. So online is easier sometimes because you can do it in the middle of the night. But I would like to meet and help my students more. Sometimes, it can be frustrating when a student wants to come to see me but I have to go to a meeting. I would rather work with the students but I’ll get in trouble if I don’t go to the meeting. So, it can be hard to balance. We have a lot of students. So if I have a class that start with 28 students, sometimes you see some drop out and don’t make it all the way. I have three classes, around 80 students at the start of the semester, that’s kind of a lot.
A: How are you evaluated and rewarded for good work from the school.
Q: Every year we write up a report that talks about everything that we did over the course of the year. We also get observed once a semester. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen sometimes when someone comes in, that another professor watches your professor? because they are writing evaluations. And you, as student write your evaluation on your professor at the end of the semester. We get evaluated on these and to see if we get rehired next year. We don’t get extra money unless we are doing extra projects.

A: Why do you have a passion for teaching English?

Q: Lots of different reasons. It’s in the culture and people’s everyday interactions. People don’t get a lot of opportunities to share their ideas and get to know each other through reading and writing. Partly every English professor become English professor because we think “wow, it’s amazing that we get paid to read and write”, but also to have the opportunity to get to know people in a different setting. It’s not work that you have to produce something. It’s about ideas. I think teaching at a place like Laguardia, you really work with a lot of students who wouldn’t have the opportunity if we didn’t have community colleges. I am passionate about everybody having opportunity for education, and to write and to be creative, and not just have job training but also thinking. Because I think, a lot of time in this country and in many different cultures, education is just for the elite. Only the elite can go to the college. It just become a place where education reinforces the inequality. I have a passion for Laguardia Community College because it’s different. It’s about having opportunity for everybody.

A: What kind of students Have you taught?

Q: We have every kind of students, different ages, different backgrounds, different interests. Especially when you teach a course like English 101, every major requires it.

A: Sometimes you couldn’t understand everyone’s speaking, right? Or you just guess?

Q: Usually, I am pretty good and I can understand pretty well. Sometimes it’s harder to understand people’s writing. Sometimes I can guess what they mean, but their writing doesn’t yet reflect what they mean. So my job is to help you say what you’re trying to say. Sometimes I can’t understand the writing because the person who wrote it doesn’t yet understand it and they are still trying to figure out.

A: Have you seen a lot of success stories among your students?

Q: Yeah, we have a lot of students here who we find out a little bit what they’re doing a year or two down the road. We just started an English major here at Laguardia, we are very excited about the success of those students. We just have a student admitted to Bard College and another to St. Lawrence University which are really great colleges in the area. It’s exciting to see where they’re transferring and what they are going to do.

A: Do you still keep in touch with your former students?

Q: Sometimes. I’ve only been here for there years, so a lot my students are still here. A lot of times, I see them while they’re still here. Every once a while you hear from someone you haven’t heard from in a little while and it’s good to see what they are doing. Sometimes they put me on Facebook, so I see what they’re doing and they see what I’m doing on Facebook.

A: Can you tell me about your philosophy of teaching?

Q: Because students here work so hard and they rush to get here from work, even though they have to work hard in my class, I also want my class to be different from a job. Instead of being just about producing something and getting a grade, we want to have a conversation. The students talk and their voices get heard as much as mine. I like to use topics and readings that people can relate to but also are challenging. It’s not just something somebody in the book said it was important but to tell your own story, thinking about your own life but relating to what’s going on in the world. It’s very important for students to realize that they want to get great jobs but they also have to be perusing in the world. You have to make decisions like who you’re going to vote for or where you want to live, how you want to make decisions. Helping people figure out who they are and what they want, not just for their jobs but for their lives. It’s tough to do it in 12 weeks, but at least I’ll try a little bit.

A: Do you think the way you are teaching your students help them a great deal for their future careers? Can you give me your thoughts on this?

Q: I hope so. I think It’s challenging. I think probably some students always will get more out of a class than others. Student and teacher is a relationship like friendship. Sometimes there’s a better match. Sometimes a student have a hard time with me can do well with another teacher and sometimes they have really hard time with other teacher but can do well with me because it’s a better match. So, it’s more successful for some than others. I think students here have a lot of challenges, if they are able to be successful here then they will be very successful in their careers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

what time is the best for you for an interviewe?

Hi, professor:
May I interviewe you today or tomorrow? I will meet you at anywhere anytime. If you are available, call me or post on blog. My cellphone number is 347-210-7372. Thank you!

question about interviewe

hi professor, can you give me some idea about these questions.
1.How long have been a teaching English?
2.When do you decided to become a teacher?
3.Why do you want to be a college teacher?
4.How many years of education are need to be a college teacher?
5.What kind of students do you teaching?
6.Do you see a lot of success stories among your students?
7.Why do you have a passion of teaching English?
8.How much time do you spend on this job?
9.Do you have other function for school?
10.Do you love teaching?

step # 2

In book “working”, by Terkel. I chose in book eight “cradle to the grave”, Rose Hoffman and book nine “fathers and son”, Jack Currier. Because I was a teacher in my country, and I look forward to knowing more information about this job in American.
Rose Hoffman has been a teacher since 1937, and she was a bilingual teacher. She told us some interesting things and a lot of educational situations from her experience. She taught third grade at school; she didn’t take any work home with her; and when she was home, she forget about school, absolutely. This is unbelievable, in my country, teacher is not a easy job, they have to check students’ homework at night, and prepare class of next day. Sometimes they visit parents of their students after school or add a class for some students with question. Teacher is a honorable job in China.

Jack Currier is a teacher of English at a branch of the City College; at night he conducts adult education classes at an urban university. Before he became a teacher, he was a salesman. He can make a lot of money, but he didn’t happy. When he got into teaching, that was satisfy for him. He has all the power of the institution in the classroom. Although he was scared of his students when he began, he was proud of his students when they were successful. I understand his feeling. As a teacher, you get very proud of your students’ achievements.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hi, professor:
my idea is compare American college teacher with Chinese college teacher. If I interviewe you, then compare your experience with me. but I don't know how to do an annotated bibilography of my sources, which should include my interview and at least two course texts. There are not course texts that talk about my idea.

Monday, May 17, 2010

post #5

I have read Richard Lieberman's interview with Daisy Kinard at LaGuardia community college on August 9, 1978. Daisy Kinard came from a working family in the south; his father loaded trucks in a lumber mill, and his mother worked at home. He moved to the north 4 months after graduating from high school. The interviewer wanted to find out why Daisy Kinard moved from the south to New York city. The answer was access to education and job opportunities. But, the interviewee’s experiences told us that inequality and discrimination was the main reason Daisy Kinard left his hometown. In the south, he worked at a tobacco factory with tobacco worms at summer; or at potato field, he had to fight with rattlesnakes. Moreover, low-pay and overtime were a common things for him. Fortunately, he graduated from high school; he had to get up as early as 4 o’clock in the morning and walked about two miles to get to school because there were two school buses, one for white students, one for black students, but the bus of black students usually broke down on the way. He worked very hard, especially, after the war started. In the north, although New York city was dirty, many things were not what he had expected before he came, he still wanted to stay here because he can talk to all kinds of people. There were better integration in the city, such as, subway, school. He felt more respect from the people here regardless of their races. He can find more equal opportunities for his job and education.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

post #4

Economic inequality will affect our society

In essay “who built the pyramids?”, the author Studs Terkel interviewed Mike Lefebvre who was a steel worker. His feelings and his story reveal a great deal of a typical life of a working class man: Mike was a very hard worker and he could not spent enough time with his family; Yet he was not satisfied with his work because he felt he couldn’t gained little respect for his work. He put his hop on his son. However, in the film “Born rich” we have learned people who were born with wealth live totally different kind of life ; they could get almost anything they wanted without working; they knew nothing about working class people. They only care about how to enjoy their lives with their unlimited money. I think economic inequality is affecting the society as a whole as well as individual families. Under the current system, as the middle class, they will easily lost their property, and their children also easily to lost their opportunities to finished college. Therefore, the increasing gap of the economic status between the rich and the poor will push our society forward to the instability direction.
As a main part of our society, the working class will decide to our society stability. Our society is composed many different individual family, however, in order to survive, many families have no choice to work long hours or work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Working is not luxury for them; they are trying to put food on the table, and trying to pay for the rent or keep up the mortgage payment. But, today still more and more families in debt or bankruptcy. Especially when people get sick, couldn’t go to work, and plus they don’t have health insurance. It is easier to bankruptcy. According to Paul Krugman, in “confronting inequality” that “the number of families filing for bankruptcy each year was five times its level in the early 1980s.“ (325) It means that more and more middle class will lose their jobs and homes, then drop down. That is a big problem because our society will have more and more poor people. Moreover, government policies in the past thirty years had encouraged the social disparity; so, a lot of middle classes get frustrated by the society and the system. Some of them think that violent is the only solution to solve the problem. As Mike read,“ violent in American” (xxxvi). Our society will become a heaven of violent, so nobody can feel safety.