Full-Time Reading Instructor

Masters of Arts Applied Linguistics, American University in Cairo; Bachelor of Science, English, St. Cloud State University; Reading Specialist, Minnesota State University Mankato.


By appointment


Eden Prairie Campus, 952-995-1619, 


English 0921 Applied Reading Techniques, English 0901 Reading Techniques


Emmanuel is a typical student in my classroom at Hennepin Technical College (HTC). He is a thirty-two year old African immigrant who wants to become a licensed practical nurse. It is not a surprising choice since he has grown up in a country plagued by clan fighting and civil war. I will not claim I fully understand what he has seen and experienced in his home country. I do know that Emmanuel is underprepared when it comes to the reading demands that an intensive program like nursing requires at our college. His opportunity at HTC is not false, however. There is a chance that through my course work, I can eventually lead him to this possibility and others.

As a teacher of developmental reading in our English department, my overall goal is to ensure the students who pass through my courses are prepared for the reading tasks they will face later in the college. Because of the vast array of program areas at the technical college, this is a great challenge. I have worked diligently in developing course goals to guide our choice of research based material and strategies to best meet the needs of my students.

I know where Emmanuel is coming from academically and where he needs to get in the U.S. college system. Over my 16 years of professional development, I have studied and delivered subject matter from basic English as a Second Language to research writing with freshman composition students.

Emmanuel needs more that just better reading comprehension. In my classes I create projects with multiple components that incorporate reading and thinking critically, demand organization and application of study skills, and that introduce and require the ability to function in an information economy.

Emmanuel is juggling a job and family alongside his school work. It is my belief that he can meet the challenge and rigor of my class as long as the evaluation and feedback I give him is encouraging, learning focused, and transparent.

For every Emmanuel, there is a Thai Tran, Maria Jimenez, or an Anatoly Marchuk. One section of my reading course in Brooklyn Park last semester had students born in twelve different countries. I believe learning in the classroom needs to be collaborative, interactive, and experiential. The work environment demands that employees work together responsibly. This is something that I can initiate in the classroom.

Emmanuel wants to be a nurse. He may in the end choose and prepare for a different occupation. I believe it is my responsibility to help him explore this and other options for study and employment that fit his interest and skill set.

All of my students want to better themselves and their families by making themselves more employable. With my help, students like Emmanuel can join and contribute to a diverse, well-educated Minnesota community and workforce.


2010 Board of Trustees Outstanding Educator, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System


I like to swim and jog to stay healthy and reduce stress. I love to spend time with my wife and two children.

Last updated by apotyondy-smith : 2011-11-28 02:41:14