The IEC would like to welcome our two new staff members, TJ Yocum and Joan Wing.
TJ Yocum started at the IEC in July. He is currently instructing the morning 100B English course for high beginners. He has a diverse professional background.
Originally trained as a naturalist, he spent over a decade teaching children about natural history, outdoor recreation and cultural history. He also taught middle school language arts, literature and history.
Before joining the world of Adult Basic Education (ABE), he worked on political campaigns, served as a staff member for various representatives in the Minnesota State House, edited standardized tests and started a fellowship program for new naturalists.
He is inspired daily by the dedication and perseverance of his ABE students and hopes to serve them well. He does, however, consider his real job to be a good husband and father. He has been married to his wife for 10 years and has a 4-year-old daughter.
Joan is our newest teacher at the IEC. She started this month. She instructs the morning 100A-2 beginning English course.
Joan is originally from Downers Grove, Illinois, a western Chicago suburb. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse and completed her student teaching in Rochester, Minnesota. She has lived in Minneapolis her entire adult life. Joan loves the arts community here, as well as the diverse population. She also enjoys the seasons changing each year.
She started teaching because she wanted to help people learn how to work together as a team toward a common goal. Joan started her career as a physical education teacher in a Spanish immersion school in Minneapolis. She then worked briefly in human resources before returning to teaching adult English language students.
She took an adult tutor training course through the Minnesota Literacy Council. She then volunteered with Minneapolis Public Schools where she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to adults. In addition, Joan has taught GED, reading, family literacy, and basic math in Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools Adult Basic Education programs. Her favorite class to teach is beginning ESL.
In her spare time, Joan sings in a community chorus and has a teenage son.
“I am thrilled to be working with adult immigrants and refugees, to help them improve their lives through literacy and education,” Joan says.