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Teacher spotlight: Susan Shook

13 May, 2019

Meet Kings New York teacher Sue Shook!

Hi Sue! What do you like most about where you live [the Bronx]?

I love the neighbors and the community garden. I have a friend who, with her husband, turned a small junkyard into a community garden! We maintain flowers, so in the middle of all concrete there are roses, irises, daffodils, vegetables, sunflowers...

When did you start working at Kings, and what did you do before?

I joined Kings in August of 2018. Before coming to Kings, I taught college freshman English for a while, and I also taught language arts to 6th and 7th graders in the Bronx.

What classes have you taught at Kings New York?

I've taught UPP Reading and Writing, UPP Listening and Speaking, ELP, and SIG classes.

How do you think your students would describe your classes?

I think my students would describe my classes as fun and lively.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Kings?

I like the students' enthusiasm. They are so positive. For example, I have a student who sometimes comes in early while I'm having lunch to show me her presentation because she's so excited about it, and she's always looking for feedback to improve her presentation! I just love that enthusiasm.

What has been the biggest challenge?

My greatest challenge is keeping my focus on teaching them to speak English with confidence and accuracy because you have to give them confidence so you don’t want to stop them every time you hear a mistake. At the same time, it doesn't feel right to not correct at all, because they're not really improving. So it's a tough balancing act. And also, trying to be creative in terms of bringing the syllabus/curriculum to life.

Any surprises?

I am surprised how the students in my classes bond together. It's almost like they form a family. It's really nice to see!

Can you help me finish this sentence, "When Sue is not teaching or planning lessons, she..." 

... is probably walking her dog Benji.

What is one thing you learned recently?

I learned that you can clean your windshield wipers with Clorox wipes.

Is there a country you would like to visit?

I would like to visit Mexico and spend a day visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

That sounds very interesting! And, do you have a favorite book?

Actually, my favorite book is tied to the country I'd like to visit. Our Lady of Guadalope: Mother of the Civilization of Love by Carl Anderson and Eduardo Chavez.

Which well-known figure would you most like to invite to dinner?

Joan of Arc! Because she was so courageous. Ever since I was little, I admired her.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering studying at Kings New York in the future?

This is an experience that can change your life. Be prepared to meet people and make new friends. Also remember that you are valuable and that you can bring a lot to the table at Kings.