Warren wins ABS teaching award

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PCC instructor Pat Warren, third from left, was named the state's
Basic Skills Instructor of the Year for 2011. PCC staff members pictured
with her are, from left: Dr. Doris Carver, Vice President, Continuing
Education; Debra Harlow, Director, Adult Basic Skills; and Dr. Walter
Bartlett, PCC Presiden
t.


One of Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) instructors has been recognized with a state-level award in Basic Skills. Pat Warren, Adult Basic Education/GED instructor, received the Angela Moore Trogdon Instructor of the Year award during the NC Community College System’s NC Basic Skills and Family Literacy conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.  

Mrs. Warren, who resides in Prospect Hill, has been teaching Adult Basic Skills (ABS) for the past four years, beginning as a part-time instructor. She became a full-time instructor in 2008 and now teaches more than 50 students and coordinates hybrid ABS classes combining online and face-to-face instruction; conducts orientation for new ABS on-campus students; and serves as a substitute instructor for ABS, GED and family literacy classes whenever possible.  

She attends Appalachian State University’s ABS Professional Development Institute annually and also attends and presents at the NC Basic Skills Conference, conducts two local instructor workshops annually, assists with pre-service training of new instructors and serves as their mentor; and selects and maintains instructional supplies.  

Mrs. Warren is described as a “model Basic Skills instructor by her supervisor, Debra Harlow, Director, Adult Basic Skills. “Her positive attitude, willingness to exceed job expectations, rapport with students and enthusiasm for teaching are commendable,” she said. In nominating Mrs. Warren for the award, Ms. Harlow wrote the following:  

“Pat Warren’s path towards becoming an ABE/GED instructor was one from interior design to one of instructional design at Piedmont Community College. Both require an assessment of the customer’s needs and vision for themselves.  Pat demonstrates an excellent ability to extract from adult learners’ their needs and their vision.  If they are unsure of their vision, she aids them to develop one.  She believes in the potential and  worth of people and that is demonstrated by her rapport with adult learners.”  

Mrs. Warren said she always tries “to make learning fun, relevant, and contextual.” In writing about her teaching methods, she said, “I find it important as an instructor to instill a sense of direction and forward thinking in my students. In order to get where they want to go, they need to envision where they want to be in the future. Some techniques used are Internet career tests, job and college searches, or simply browsing through the college catalog. I frequently assign students the task of choosing a college major, even if they do not think they will go to college.  The free college course that Piedmont Community College Foundation offers our GED graduates serves as an impetus to this activity. Our students need someone to believe in them, and this is one method to this end.”  

Mrs. Warren received a $300 check from the NC Literacy Association and a plaque in recognition of her award.   The Angela Moore Trogdon awards, one for ABS students and one for ABS instructors, were established in 2001 in memory of Trogdon, a former Basic Skills/HRD Director at Randolph Community College and Guilford Technical Community College. Trogdon, who died of breast cancer, was a vocal advocate and trainer for Basic Skills across the state. The awards in her memory are made possible through donations to the North Carolina Literacy Association.