Hi, my name is Lynette Shaw-Smith, and I have been teaching English here since 1997.
I grew up in Pittsfield, Illinois, which is just over an hour west of Springfield. I am the fourth of five children. I attended MacMurray College, a small liberal arts college in Jacksonville. There, I studied English and secondary education. After student teaching in high school, I decided that high school students were too young, so I attended graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I earned a master's degree and did all of my Ph.D. coursework in rhetoric and linguistics with the goal of teaching college writing.
In 1988, I left Mizzou to find a warmer climate. I moved to San Jose, California, to work as a technical writer at IBM and later for Apollo Programming. Missing students, I returned to teaching. I taught English as a Second Language at Mission College and at Golden Gate Language School.
While in California, I met and married Scott Smith, a native Californian and computer programmer. Hating the big city, the traffic, and the earthquakes, I fled home to Illinois, bringing along the native Californian to the Midwest. (I thought he'd hate the Midwest in the cold winter, but he hates the Midwest in the humid summer).
First, we moved to Champaign-Urbana, where I taught English as a Second Language at Parkland College and Urbana Adult Education. Then, we moved to Springfield, so that I could fulfill my dream of teaching at a small liberal arts college. I teach freshman composition, grammar, literature, and reading classes, and I am the faculty advisor to the International Club. My husband is now a programmer and database administrator for Prairie Heart Institute. We love the friendly people of Springfield, so we have been very happy here.
My passions are my husband (we married in June 1989), my family, teaching English, reading mystery novels, seeing movies, and traveling. I have been to all 50 states and many foreign countries. I hope to visit every continent on Earth before I die.
To truly know a teacher, you must hear from his/her students. Here are some things the experts (my students) have to say:
Sean Layendecker from my English 112 class says, "I had a lot of fun in your class this year, and I needed a teacher to kick my butt into gear. Thank you for everything you have done this semester, Mrs. Shaw-Smith."
According to former English 111 student and International Club member, Angela (Weina) Huang, "Not only is she a great teacher, but she also has a great personality. She's Mrs. Shaw-Smith. If she's at her office, students can always get help, and she will help her students in any way she can. She really shows that she cares about her students. That's what I like best about her, her kindness. She also has great laughs."
Anthony Gayton from English 111 and English 112 explains, "Time flies when you're having fun and enjoying coming to class. And it helps when your instructor is helpful and you can talk about anything that is going on in your life, and she doesn't just blow you off. So Mrs. Shaw-Smith, thanks for being an understanding and sweet person."
Nestor B. Guerra, a former English 112 student, says, "There is nothing I could say about Mrs. Shaw-Smith that other students have not said about her. She's a good teacher, who is willing to go the extra mile for any student who is willing to work hard with their work. She's a teacher who can relate to the struggles of being a college student. I'm glad I had her as my English teacher."
Melvin Armstrong , a former English 111 student, stated on Facebook: “For the lady who allowed me to believe that I could do whatever I put my mind to, who allowed me to believe that I could make a contribution to society before I knew I could.”