Name: Jasara Hines
College & Majors/Minors: University of New Mexico: B.A. English Literature; University of Central Florida: Professional Writing Certificate, M.A. English Literature, PhD Texts and Technology
Current Location: Orlando, FL
Current Form of Employment/Job Title: Education: Teacher: AP English Literature and Associate Professor, Valencia College: Online Freshman Composition I and II
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I am currently on maternity leave, however, I am responsible for teaching all aspects of writing. I teach Freshman Composition, so I teach the fundamentals of the different genres of writing, research, rhetoric, and argumentation. I also teach critical reasoning and analytical skills. Freshman Composition II and AP English Literature requires me to teach all aspects of analyzing and writing about all genres of literature.
Tell us about how you found your job!
I began teaching in the public school system as a last resort. I hate to put it that way, but that is what happened. I was a newly graduated English major, with no real job prospects. I applied to Poinciana High School to teach Reading. I was given the job on the spot. A year later, I was teaching American Literature at an inner city school in Orlando. It was the best move of my teaching career, because I eventually moved up to teaching Advanced Placement English Language and Composition. It was here that I also truly came to love teaching, and I realized that I loved watching kids read, analyze and respond to texts.
I got my M.A. while I was teaching and I needed a part time job to help save money to purchase a home, so I applied to teach at Valencia College (then Valencia Community College). The interview was a little nerve-racking! The Dean of Humanities interviewed me. He asked a number of questions about my teaching philosophy, methods, etc., but he was extremely personable. I was offered the job right then and there, and I have been teaching there ever since.
What has been the most surprising thing about being a teacher?
How, despite the pressures from district/government initiatives, despite the, at times, horrible parents and students, watching kids come to love something, anything about literature, can always make me forget the bad things about being a teacher.