Thursday, 30 May 2024

Seeing the world in a different way led Montes to teaching

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Rebecca Montes teaches American history at Mendocino College. Courtesy photo.

 

UKIAH Inspired by professors to see the world in a different way while attending Santa Clara University, Rebecca Montes decided she wanted to teach.


Originally, Montes contemplated attending law school, but changed her mind after being inspired by some of her history professors.


“I attended Santa Clara thinking I wanted to eventually go to law school, but I loved my history classes and admired my professors. They helped me see the world in a different way and I wanted to do the same,” Montes said.


While in college, professors presented Montes with material from a variety of different viewpoints and exposed her to perspectives and knowledge of which she had previously been unaware.


“As for how I came to see the world different – I came to see that American society is the product of a much more complicated history of struggle and accomplishment than I had realized before college,” Montes said.


Montes, originally from San Gabriel, is in her second semester of teaching history and political science courses at Mendocino College.


After earning her bachelor’s degree in history in 1996 from Santa Clara University, Montes attended the University of Texas at Austin to pursue her master’s degree and Ph.D. in history.


“I wanted to continue my education with the goal to teach. I decided on the University of Texas at Austin because of their professors and their programs that dealt with immigration issues,” Montes said.


While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Montes was a teaching assistant from 1999-2004 and an assistant instructor from 2004-2005.


After earning her master’s in history in 1999 and her Ph.D. in history in 2005, Montes began teaching as an adjunct instructor at Austin Community College in the Summer of 2005.


While at Austin Community College, Montes taught History of the U.S. after 1877 and History of the U.S. before 1877.


“I enjoyed my time at Austin Community College and it made me think I wanted to teach at the junior college level. However, they had no full-time positions and I wanted to get back out to California for family and professional reasons,” Montes said.


Montes began teaching History 150 Contemporary America, History 210 U.S. History I and two sections of Political Science 200 at Mendocino College during 2006’s fall semester.


She then applied for a full-time position at Mendocino College.


This spring Montes is teaching History 150 Contemporary America, two sections of History 210 U.S. History I, History 211 U.S. History II, History 220 History of Mexico and Political Science 200.


“The students and professors have been very friendly, warm and genuine. I love the feeling you have a job that is doing something positive for the community,” Montes said.


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