Eunice Short has been teaching for more than 30 years. She currently is spending her time tutoring those working to get their General Education Development degree.
Eunice was recently named the 2011 Iowa Older Worker Champion by Experience Works, the nation’s largest organization serving older workers through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. She was honored during a ceremony Sept. 29.
Eunice taught in Chicago for 18 years before moving to Clinton in 1993. She began teaching special education in the Clinton School District in 1994 and retired in 2007. During that time, she also taught GED students at Clinton Community College. She provided services through Promise Jobs. In January, Eunice was hired by Eastern Iowa Community College as a GED teacher and tutor.
Eunice works Tuesday and Thursday nights tutoring GED students in the Learning Center across from CCC. Her class time runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Classes are also held during the day.
By 4:45 p.m. Thursday, Eunice was in the classroom getting everything prepared for students. One student arrived early and asked Eunice to read an essay she wrote. She read it and complimented the woman on her writing. Eunice then set her up with a test to take.
As each student came in, Eunice talked with them about what they would do that day. She helped one woman get her file and start the assessment she needed to complete. Eunice also has a woman volunteering time tutoring students in math. Before she came, Eunice tutored that subject. The volunteer sat with one of the students and helped her with math problems. Other students began taking tests.
Eunice said her job varies each night, depending on what the students need to do. Sometimes students go through chapters in books to prepare for the test and other times they take tests. Eunice makes sure each student uses the correct level of book, based on assessment results. She said students reading books that are too advanced will have problems in class.
Eunice also goes through students’ completed tests and marks how well they did. She often goes through the test with them. If it is in math, she goes through the process to make sure they understand how to find the correct answer.
By 5:15 p.m., only five students have come. Eunice said usually she sees more than that. The students are not required to attend every class, but she said many do.
“The ones who are really interested, you see every time,” Eunice said. She can tell those students have made up their minds to see it through.
A woman comes in who has not been to class for months. Eunice tells her she will have to register again and retake the assessment tests. She also informed the woman that a registration fee of $15 has been recently added. Eunice gets the correct paperwork from the file cabinet and helps her fill out the registration forms and start the assessment.
Once Eunice has finished helping the student register, she makes sure no one else needs help. The room was silent except for a student asking a question here or there.
Two men came in to also register for the class.
Eunice explained the process and the fee, and told them where to go to pay the registration fee. She then gathered up the paperwork and helped fill it.
A little after 6 p.m., the first student was finished with her test. Eunice sat down with the scoring guide and began to score the test.