By Shana Friend
Have you ever been afraid of trying something new? Sometimes we learn by choice and other times by necessity.
As I have undertaken learning experiences as an adult, I have become more empathetic with my students. They, in turn, have inspired me by their dedication.
My GED students are more diverse than you might expect. I have 16-year-olds who weren’t a good fit for high school, 40-year-olds who want to move up at work and retirees who want the personal satisfaction of finishing their GED. My students have been blind, deaf, homeless, learning English, recovering from addiction or accidents, and usually very busy.
The diversity of my classroom is mirrored in the diversity of the college as a whole. With more than 70 percent students of color, Highline College is the most diverse higher education institution in the state. Of our 17,000 students each year, one-third are immigrants and refugees.
No matter why they come to my class or what their previous experiences have been, many students are nervous when they step in the door. I can relate to that because I have returned to school myself as an adult. …