My own immigration story brings me to New York from London, my home city, via Paris, where I lived and worked for 12 years. I qualified as a teacher in 2005, after an eclectic career spanning public administration, diplomacy and investment management, all of which I very much enjoyed. In teaching English, however, I have found what I love. To accompany students as they discover a new life in America, to share their insights and to enable their learning in English is a huge privilege. I am so grateful for it.
I've been lucky enough to work in many interesting careers. After graduating from college I became a motion picture sound recordist. This was the perfect job for me since I love the arts, (especially music -- I play guitar), travel, and communication. For 15 years, I traveled all over the world and worked with all kinds of interesting actors, musicians and world political figures. I loved the work, but as the old saying goes, "There are two kinds of people in the movie business--those trying to get into it and those trying to get out of it". So I started doing other things I loved in search of the perfect occupation, such as teaching music to preschool children, doing environmental education classes for a Brooklyn non-profit organization, and teaching ESL, first at Brooklyn College then at English in Action.
Teaching English may not be the same as working with movie stars and presidents, but at ARNIC, I can combine my interests in one job. That's what makes it so perfect. It's always stimulating, creative and a lot of fun!
Mary Anne Barker
I am a "new" ESL teacher, having earned my certificate from Teacher's College Columbia University in 2014. My earlier career included four years in Washington DC as Press Secretary to a prominent member of congress, and managing media relations for a major non-profit organization. I then transitioned to the business sector, and spent 20 years directing communications in various service firms, including Deloitte&Touche, Milbank Tweed and Standard & Poor's. I was a member of the board of directors of Sister Cities International, the world's oldest and largest citizen diplomacy network. I love using all of my experience in helping English language learners succeed in what I know to be a very challenging task.
I am currently teaching a Business Communications course and a Listening Course at ARNIC, plus some private tutoring for intermediate to advanced English language learners.
I escaped from suburban Connecticut to attend college in Manhattan and then moved to Washington DC to be a Speechwriter and Senior Policy Analyst on Capitol Hill. In exile from Manhattan for more than two decades, I later served as an editor for Time-Life Books in Alexandria, Virginia where I directed the publication of illustrated books on subjects ranging from true crime and American culture to gardening and cooking.
I am a published author and contribute to publications of the Hearst Corporation, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.A. and Time Inc. I also write a gardening column for the Shawangunk Journal, a regional weekly in rural, upstate New York, where I happily tend two acres of ornamental landscaping and photograph macro flower portraits. I am also a member of the Authors Guild and the Garden Writers Association.