Linda’s Post: Sustainable Community in my own Context

Hi everyone,

I came to Appalachian in 1999 to start a new job as a professor in the elementary education program in Curriculum & Instruction.  One community I identify with is as a teacher educator in language arts and elementary education. I taught elementary school, second and fourth grades, in Blacksburg, Virginia as well as teaching as a Montessori teacher before going to graduate school at Virginia Tech for a PhD in education. So, my community as an educator has a number of chapters in it with one common feature sustaining each chapter over time, the people. People who become friends and remain friends over time and through life changes. My experience in this community is that of an integration of the professional with the personal through friendships. The friendships sustain these communities even when people move out of the professional jobs (retire). Additionally, a passion for literacy, learning, and working against injustices connected and connects today the people in my community.

Other communities have developed for me as an outgrowth of being at ASU, living in North Carolina, and in Boone. I joined the Watauga County Hispanic Women’s group in the early 2000’s and entered into a new community of town/university people and a new area for teaching and research: teaching non-Native English speaking young children in the public school classroom. As part of this exploration I went to Honduras with former anthropology professor Jeff Boyer and a group of college students and community members. I visited schools in the remote northwest region of Honduras. I’ve continued learning and researching in this area and by going to NYC and visiting classrooms with multiple native languages occurring among the students I hope to learn more. More knowledge and insights to use in my courses, and more to use for a possible student diversity study-away in NYC.
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