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Learn from the Best: Lynn Prince shares the joy of writing and discovery

Lynn Prince is all-in on “Team English” at GRCC – she’s proud of her department’s investment in getting to know students in order to prepare them for future classes and careers.

“Right from the start, GRCC has always felt like family to me,” she said. “There is a wonderful camaraderie within the English department faculty and adjunct faculty. I love collaborating with people--sharing ideas and best practices; I also love working with college students; they are invested in their future. It's a privilege to be a small part of the forward momentum in their lives; they have so much potential! I always miss them when classes end-- my goal is each class feels like a family, too.”

Prince teaches English Composition 101 and 102, and IRW 099 Accelerated Composition. And she is confident any English course a student takes at GRCC will empower them with important skills for the career path they have chosen.

“The English Department works diligently to stay current,” Prince said. “We recently adjusted course requirements, content and textbooks to better meet the needs of transferring students. We have integrated reading and writing (IRW) to get students through their required courses more quickly. After much research and training, we have created an innovative program: IRW 099 ‘A-comp’ paired with EN 101 for students with high aptitude and motivation.”

Prince is dedicated to her discipline and teaching. But she changed her major in college three times before she landed on the one for her. 

“Different jobs, classes and mentors helped guide me into English Language Arts and teaching,” she said. “I finally decided to be a teacher when I was invited to be a camp counselor one summer during college. After that, I was hooked. Working with kids united my purpose and passion; it seemed like a culmination of my natural skills and interests. I always tell students that they have a purpose and passion, too. They can narrow it down with the things they do not want to do, but to be open for the surprises and other careers they maybe didn't think of or jobs that aren't even created yet.”

Prince earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Secondary Education with a Social Studies Composite Minor from Hope College. She taught English at Caledonia High School, and earned her Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching with an ELA focus Aquinas College. From there, she stepped into teaching at GRCC. 

“I think I was well prepared as far as theory and practice,” she said. But teaching and grading writing--really investing in coaching students' thinking and English Language Arts growth--takes an incredible investment of time and emotional energy,” she said. “Teaching is also much more than just the classroom interaction with students, it's all the behind the scenes work that takes additional time and effort. It's worth it, but my first few years of teaching I didn't have very good work-life balance. Then after having my own kids, I figured it out quickly!

Prince also learned from the example of her mentor, Dr. Leslie Wessman from Hope College.

“She was instrumental in my education,” she said. “She was brilliant; with her innovative learning design and brain research, she modeled everything in her classroom that she was trying to teach us. We learned not only by example, but because she knew each one of us personally and she gave great advice. She believed in me before I believed in myself. She saw a trajectory for my life and encouraged me until I saw it, too. Thank you, Dr. Wessman!”

 

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