Allan Haley has taught for Vancouver School Board’s Adult Education program for more than 22 years. Throughout his teaching career, he has met many students from various backgrounds and age groups and witnessed countless success stories. Haley currently teaches English from introductory to advanced levels, and finds it most rewarding when students recognize their ability to succeed in education.
“Most students are really on track and they have a goal in mind. They’re heading for college, they want a better job, or they want to improve their use of the language, and so they’re very motivated,” says Haley.
Haley’s classes range from about 25 – 30 people in attendance, across various ages and walks of life. Some of his students are completing their high school diplomas, others have come from overseas and are looking to improve their English skills, and some are retirees pursuing further education. Haley taught his eldest student last year – Wally, age 72 – who after completing his upgrading at VSB’s Adult Ed, went on to pursue a General Arts degree from Simon Fraser University. Haley adds that Wally’s decision inspired his grandchildren to want to attend university in their futures.
Haley likens himself to a guide. His job is to help students navigate their pathways to success. He adds, “My students are like ships with their own sails and their own wind. I try to be a rudder to point them in the right direction.”
Haley works hard to prepare his students to enter college and continue with their education. His teaching centres on writing principles and techniques and he aims to prepare his students to excel in the post-secondary environment.
“A lot of our students come from backgrounds where they have had success in other careers, either overseas or in Canada, and they’re coming back to school to upgrade so they can get back into college. They already know how to be successful,” says Haley. “Others students enter our programs with trepidation and are uncertain as to what to expect. Our environment is great for these students and the entire VSB Adult Ed team works together to support them and help guide them to success.”