Why I Teach: ‘It is a great privilege to be an interpreter’

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Catherine Johnson is interpreter education instructor at Wilson Community College

Total years teaching: Five

First teaching position: My first teaching experience was in the Peace Corps in Grenada, West Indies. I was a life skills teacher for middle school children.

Colleges attended: Wilson Community College, AAS interpreter education; Berry College in Rome, Georgia, bachelor’s in psychology; Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., master’s in international development with a focus on people with disabilities who live in developing countries; North Florida University, master’s in interpreting pedagogy

Favorite book: My favorite book comes from my one of my college psychology courses. We read “A Touch of Wonder” by Arthur Gordon, and to this day the short stories and life lessons found within those pages are still with me.

Other interesting facts: I was/am very adventurous. After I graduated from college I was an au pair in the Netherlands, worked in a youth hostel in Ireland and joined the Peace Corps. I have done a lot of traveling over the years and enjoy the excitement and cultural experience that international traveling offers.

Why I Teach: I know that it is a great privilege to be an interpreter for the deaf community. I enjoy helping my students understand the responsibility and integrity that is required for the profession. It is so gratifying to see their skills improve as they progress through the program and know they will be an asset to the deaf community and the interpreting profession when they graduate.