Mary Rowntree teaches English in a way that helps all the students in her classes.
Rowntree is a part-time instructor at Yuba College, though one day she would like to teach at the college full time. She started teaching at Yuba in the Fall 2010 semester, starting with one pre-college English course. Now she teaches English 51 and 1A, though given the opportunity, English 1C would be her preference, she said.
Rowntree loves the diverse student population because, she said, “the cultural mix is dynamic. Students are talking and enjoying campus life.”
After teaching for six years, she finally feels that her teaching practices are engaging and she is getting more experienced in providing a challenging course for her students.
Her favorite part of teaching is to see the students get excited about learning, especially in her English 51 class, where, in one assignment, students are researching music as a therapy tool.
Rowntree said, “students should spend 2 to 3 hours a week reading and working on their assignments at home.”
She wants to be stricter on the due dates of essays or assignments. However, she feels that flexibility is a positive attitude to offer students., who often struggle in their lives.
In the beginning of the semester, the students are quiet in her classes, even when they are in groups. But when the students get to the music unit, they open up and get more involved in the class because they really take interest in the music and get more engaged with other students in the class.
Rowntree said, “I want my students to imagine a brighter future and world.”
Note: This article was featured in the Spring 2016 edition of The Prospector.