English as a Second Language

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Susan Kipp





What Has Shaped Me As An Educator


            I have always loved working with students who are eager to learn and who, for one reason or another, have special challenges. I also love being able to use my knowledge of Spanish to enrich and enhance my experiences with my students as most of them are native Spanish speakers.

            I got my teaching credentials at UCSB where I also earned my Bachelor’s Degree in English. I obtained a Multiple-Subject Credential (K-12) and a Single Subject Credential in English. After graduation I was not able to find work in Santa Barbara so I moved back to Los Angeles where I was raised. I worked at Hoover St. School, an inner-city elementary school in downtown L.A.

            My first class was a Kindergarten class of 33 students from Central America. None of them spoke English and my Spanish was limited. That was the “heyday” of Bilingual Education and I was fortunate to be able to take many classes in Spanish. There were 2,700 children in that elementary school and we had 14 Kindergarten classes. Each Kindergarten class had 33 students.

            I worked at Hoover St. School for 5 years and was very fortunate to be able to come back to Santa Barbara where I found work at Franklin Elementary School. I worked there as a bilingual Kindergarten/First Grade teacher. At that time, I also started working at SBCC teaching ESL in the evenings.

            After a while, I could see that Bilingual Education was falling out of popularity and I started to seek other opportunities in education. I taught ESL at Santa Barbara High School for a summer and decided to try my luck at the secondary level.

            I have now been teaching at San Marcos High School since l993 in the ESL Dept. It has been a worthwhile challenge and I feel that I have been able to grow tremendously as an educator in my work with high school students.

I am now also teaching a CAHSEE class to help students prepare for the California High School Exit Exam. This year I was asked to also teach Spanish at SMHS and I am loving that too.

I have continued to teach at SBCC in the evenings where I am currently teaching ESL Grammar Levels 1 and 3.

That is my story up till now. Thanks for listening to me.

Susan Kipp

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