Being a teacher was always Tiffany Robinson’s plan. With this goal in mind, Robinson started college at a private university in downtown Chicago. However, when she became pregnant with her first son, she had to adjust her plan.
Several years later, as a mom of three boys, Robinson was working as a teacher’s aide at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island. She knew the time had come to go back to school herself, and she chose Moraine Valley because of its flexible scheduling.
Robinson got involved in Student Life activities such as the Black Student Association, helped start a women’s support group and continually sought ways to help others despite her busy life as a working mom and student. She even was elected as the college’s student trustee while she was pregnant with her daughter.
“She really was a Moraine Valley baby,” Tiffany said of her child, who was born during Tiffany’s time at the college.
After graduating in 2009, Robinson went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in education and has been teaching special education for the past seven years. This year, she will begin teaching Spanish at the Deneen School of Excellence in the Chicago Public Schools system.
“I’m going to do something I’ve always wanted to do – help African American kids acquire a second language,” Robinson said. When she started at Moraine Valley, she was fluent in Spanish but chose to take 18 hours when “they told me if I did, I could get an endorsement to teach Spanish. That’s how I’m able to start my new job this year.”
It is an exciting year for Robinson. In addition to preparing for her new teaching position, she is participating in the Yale National Initiative. She applied to be one of only 50 teachers in the U.S. to become a teaching fellow in this highly competitive program, which seeks to strengthen public school education. She works with Yale University faculty to develop curriculum she will use in her own classroom and share with teachers across the country. She is proud she was chosen for this prestigious role, but, as usual, her focus is on her students.
“The kids will be acquiring a level of knowledge they would not get without this program,” Robinson said.
In addition to teaching, she runs her own business – Robinson Education Professionals. She offers tutoring, ACT and SAT prep, and advocates for special education students.
With all of her professional success, Robinson believes Moraine Valley gave her an opportunity she would not have had otherwise, which is why she believes in staying involved as an alumna by helping review scholarship applications and donating money to the Foundation.
“Scholarships are very important. We have to try to give back when we can. That’s what makes the world a better place. If we’re going to be world-changers, we need to help others,” Robinson said.