Linda McBride, a lead instructor for the Warren County Career Center’s (WCCC) Aspire Program, (formerly called ABLE) was recently named as the 2017 WCCC Instructor/Coordinator of the Year. She has served as a teacher in Warren County since 1999.
The award is presented in conjunction with the Warren County Area Progress Council, which recognizes excellent instructors and coordinators at the college and technical school level in Warren County.
During her years of service to the Aspire Program, Linda has instructed more than 1,000 GED, Adult Diploma, College and Career Readiness, and ESOL students.
“Linda not only has high expectations for all students, but she empowers them to develop grit and a growth mindset to continue education and seek career pathways,” said Aspire Coordinator Karen Karnes.
As a Pierpont, Ohio, native, Linda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Hiram College and has a background in education. She lived in Texas for several years, and in 1993, she developed an interest in adult education. We talked to McBride to learn more about the honor.
Linda and her husband, Travis, currently live in Waynesville. They have three children and one grandchild. Brandon, 19, is a 2017 graduate of the WCCC Advanced Technologies and Robotics program, and is enrolled at Sinclair Community College, Justin, 21, is a Geography major at Wright State University, and their son, Demi, 24, is married to Sam. Demi and Sam are the parents of The McBride’s granddaughter, Shayleigh.
Q: What does the ‘Teacher of the Year’ honor mean to you?
A: I was totally shocked and humbled. I do what I do because I love my students and I want to see them be successful in whatever that looks like for them. It is different for each person. We are currently working with the WCCC Adult Technical Center to incorporate integrated education with multiple programs, which enhances the education of our students with different learning styles.
Q: Congratulations on your honor. Did you get to receive it in person?
A: Thank you. Yes, there was a dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 24, with the Warren County Area Progress Council. My husband, Travis, went with me. It was a very nice event. I was very well received as well as the recipient from Sinclair Community College, Lisa Oakley. The attendees seemed very genuine in listening what we had to say. Two of us were honored. The Warren County Area Progress Council recognizes an instructor from the Warren County Career Center as well as an instructor or professor from Sinclair Community College, Mason campus.
Q: What’s a typical day look like for you?
A: Mondays and Wednesdays, my day begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Obviously, I take a break in between, but, generally, I’m doing preparation and planning for these new classes, and this new project. Then, I teach an evening class. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach my ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages.) class. Then, the Friday ESOL class is a conversational class.
Q: Do you have a unique approach to teaching?
A: I want all of my students to feel comfortable, and know that they can do it. And, (often, this means) whatever it takes (for them to accomplish their goals.)
Q: What do you love the most about your role?
A: I love seeing students become who they are supposed to be – whatever success means to them. It may be earning the GED. It may be getting into further education, or it may be learning English or Math enough to help their students, or their kids. I do this for the students.
Q: What were you the most excited about when you heard you were going to receive the award?
A: To me, it means that the hard work that not just I do, but my co-workers within my program as well as around the state, is being recognized. Because, we are very well-kept secret. A lot of people don’t know that we exist. So, if some of this will benefit our programs, which in turn will benefit the students, because then they realize they can do it. Maybe, it will allow them to recognize that they can be successful in a program, and go on to further education. Sometimes (the students) think “I didn’t know how to do it,” or “I’m smart enough to do it.” Hopefully, this will bring an awareness that will help to further encourage students.
Q: What does it mean to you now that you have received this honor?
A: It gives me the energy to keep going, and to continue to do what I’m doing. I feel a little bit more of a responsibility, too.
Q: You said you were surprised when you found out you were going to be honored. How did you find out you were receiving the award?
A: I didn’t even know I was nominated. I had been nominated last year, I knew that. The Warren County Area Progress Council’s committee reads over the nominations and selects an honoree. To document it, my immediate director, the director of adult education at Warren County Career Center, Tom Harris, and Rick Smith, the superintendent at the Warren County Career Center, along with Peg Allen, public information specialist, Warren County Career Center, walked into my classroom and announced it in front of my class.
Q: Have you received any other awards?
A: Yes, in 2013, I was “Co-Instructor of the Year” for Southwest Ohio Region with our adult education program, Ohio Association for Adult Learning and Continuing Education (OAACE). Marta Caceres also received the honor at the same time.
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