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KCC Faculty on Teaching

KCC Faculty on Teaching

Delia Hernandez

Delia Hernandez

How did you get into teaching?
Teaching found me!  As first-generation students, my best friend and I helped each other through school. When we were completing our college applications, I asked her what I should choose as a major. She looked at me as if she thought it was obvious and responded: "Are you kidding? You are going to St. Francis and will become a teacher."  So, I did! I started teaching while I was in college. I majored in English and elementary education and have worked in schools for my entire career. Being a teacher is much more than my profession: It is intertwined with the way in which I live, so it has become a key aspect of my identity.

What do you love about teaching?
I value my role in serving as a bridge between the realities and experiences of my students and the culture of academia. Also, I love the excitement of a new year or new semester - a chance to begin anew and refine my practice. 

What’s your favorite teaching experience?My favorite moments center around first experiences. With first-year students, I love seeing their growth as they become acclimated to college and begin to tap into their beliefs about education. They begin to recognize that they bring a wealth of knowledge about the field of education as they find and develop their "teacher" voices and views. For my students in their last semester at KCC, I love the transformation that happens when they get to work directly with children as they experience field work for the first time. They realize that what they have been learning actually does align with what is happening in real classrooms...and that they have some skills and strengths!

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Everything that I've done in my career as a teacher, reading specialist and assistant principal impacts my current experiences and practice.  In a sense, there are strong parallels between working with first graders as they learn to read and working with first-year KCC students as they learn to become college students.  

What advice do you have for current students?
Engage - Seek to learn and grow in every class - Use a planner - Ask questions - Develop some interests - Make some friends - Get to know some professors - And...Read your email so that you will be informed and prepared!