Erica Duran has taught GEW since 2007. She also teaches at Palomar College. She’s married with a 16-month-old little boy, and she lives in Valley Center. When she’s not teaching, Erica spends her time with her family. They enjoy the Safari Park, where her husband is a mammal keeper.
Erica likes to teach GEW because she learns something new every semester. Her students are constantly teaching her new things – not only abut topics discussed in class but also about the different ways people think. She’s always excited to hear different perspectives, and she’s honored when her students share them with her.
She says the hardest thing about teaching GEW is when students aren’t engaged. She loves when students talk and participate, and Erica says it’s hard to teach a class that’s quiet and expects her to do all of the work. She strongly believes that the students are as much a part of the learning and teaching process as she is.
When asked to give advice to the quiet students, she immediately made it clear that she sympathizes with them. Erica said, “The thing is, I sympathize with quiet students because as an elementary and middle school student, I was painfully shy. I never participated, and I never felt like I had anything important to contribute; however, once I finally did start participating, I realized I learned so much more because my teachers would engage me on different levels, learn my name, and I would become more interested in the class.” This, then, made her a more successful student.
Right now, Erica’s research interests are centered on first-year writing, but if she had all of the time in the world, she’d bury herself in Ernest Hemingway research, even though she already knows so much about him. She said that doesn’t matter. To this day, she will stay up until 5 am if it means finishing a book on Hemingway.