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Robin was inspired to become a teacher by his eleventh-grade English teacher. "He was genuine, caring, and had a great sense of humor. He was the most real teacher I've ever encountered," Robin recalls. "When I was a senior, he allowed me to be his TA, and that experience taught me a great deal about the craft of teaching."
Robin received his bachelor's degree from California State University Fullerton in English, and his master's degree in American Studies. He's been an English teacher and Puente writing coach at Magnolia High School in Anaheim, California, for seventeen years. He is also a part-time college instructor.
Learning about how his students see the world is just one of the reasons why Robin loves to teach. "I love those moments when students receive acceptance letters from colleges and universities and feel privileged to witness those brief moments where a life's dream is realized," he says.
When it comes to professional development, Robin says that he feels a personal responsibility to his students to pursue continual training and to sharpen his skills as a teacher: "I'm lucky enough to be in a district that encourages professional development and I'm interested in learning how other successful teachers accomplish so much." Robin attends a College Board conference every summer and Puente training throughout the year. He also keeps his bookshelves stocked with books that shape his pedagogy. "Even if I can't find funding or time for attending conferences or workshops, I can always pick up and read a book."
His own book was written as a result of several years worth of passion and experience "welling up." "I planned and wrote Greater Expectations keeping in mind what I would want if I were reading a book designed to help me teach underrepresented students," Robin explains. "After deciding to write, I reread some of the really successful books on teaching and tried to notice what they did that worked. Then I planned the book, shared the plan with a handful of people that would help guide me throughout the writing, and began to draft it."
Robin has two children and is a novice jogger, rock-climber, and Little League umpire. He loves to travel and is "obsessed with music" and listens to an eclectic mix of it.