Fears and phobias, everyone has them. The one that Danna Teicheira, who teaches English Composition I and II and Survey of American Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, sees most often is the "fear" of English classes. Helping her students overcome these fears is one of Danna's specialties.
"I enjoy seeing students challenge themselves and gain confidence in their writing skills," she said. "When I read in the final discussion forum that they have overcome that initial feeling and actually enjoyed the course, I feel that I've been a good partner for them in achieving success."
Danna, who has a master's in English and then started teaching through the Veterans Upward Bound program, can easily relate to Grantham's military and veteran students. Her mother and father both served in the Navy. Her mother was in the first Wave class and served as a Coding Officer in the Brooklyn Naval Yard during WWII. Her father was one of the military to enter Japan when WWII ended.
"Somehow, with Grantham's large military student population," Danna reflected, "I feel I am honoring my parents by teaching at this University."
Any student who has Danna as an instructor will be able to tell how much she cares about what she does.
"Teaching is my passion," she said. "Good communication skills are essential for career development and helping students polish and stretch their writing skills is something that provides great personal satisfaction. As I tell the students in my classes, it is my honor to teach them. I learn from my students; every class gives me some new knowledge that enhances my ability to teach."
When not pursuing her passion, Danna likes to stay busy. She has had six articles published in professional journals and wrote her first blog for Grantham a few months ago. She is also a Cajun dancer, Zumba enthusiast and a certified Sea Otter Rescuer.
"When training for that," Danna said, "I met the original scientists and veterinarians who worked the Exxon oil spill. It was a sobering experience to hear about the damage to the wildlife, but to meet those individuals who fought to save the animals was an experience I will not forget."
She will never forget that moment, much like those students whose lives she changed by helping them overcome their fear of English classes will never forget her.