About Me

Hi, my name's Kathy.
In an earlier life, I was an applications engineer in the field of integrated circuit design and manufacture.  I worked at Bell Labs for 15 years and then my lab was sold to a Silicon Valley company where I worked for seven more years.  I enjoyed it, but I retired in 2007 to pursue a vocation which had been calling since I was in college.

For two years after retiring, I tutored English to small groups in Center City Philadelphia, near Chinatown.  To boost my ancient B.A. in Communications, I took an intensive 4-week TEFL certificate program at Lado International College in Washington, D.C.  I got a job teaching EL-Civics at the Center for Literacy and for five years I taught classes of 10-16 students in various neighborhoods such as Old City, Southwest Philly, the Northeast and the Far Northeast.   Recently, I've moved to International House Philadelphia where the focus is on speaking and listening.  I have an intermediate class and I tutor individuals (mostly advanced).

I’m interested in using mindfulness in the classroom. Simply put, mindfulness is waking up to what's actually happening now, of noticing.  Mindfulness has been a subject of interest in medicine and psychology for over 30 years.  In recent years, it's also received some attention in the teaching field.

Dogme ELT caught my eye because it resonates with mindfulness. Teacher and learners try to keep the focus on "the people in the room", to engage in genuine communication, to be curious about how that communication is happening and to extend that curiosity beyond the classroom walls.  It has been interesting over the last couple of years to examine my relationship with prepared materials and technology.  Are they facilitating or hindering?   Hint: it's not the things themselves, it's the reason for using them and how they're being used that counts.  Once I got that, I realized that I can be "unplugged" even with handouts and electronics.

When I’m not teaching, I like to knit, bike, hike and meditate.  I live in a leafy neighborhood with my hubby of 30+ years and two cats.