Alanna Bright has been an instructor with Penn Foster High School since 2006 and a senior instructor since 2008. Prior to joining the Penn Foster team, Mrs. Bright pursued graduate studies in English rhetoric and composition, working as a teaching assistant. During that time, she began to teach basic writing and ultimately discovered her forte for teaching. She has since taught writing on both the high school and college levels. To further enhance her abilities as an educator, Mrs. Bright is working towards various career certificates, as well as a master’s degree in education.
What is your proudest teaching moment?
There have been so many wonderful moments in my career that I can’t possibly choose just one. What I can share is that my proudest teaching moments haven’t occurred in the classroom, but in small groups and individual conversations. I’m honored when my students choose to share their lives with me, and I’m flattered when they seek my guidance. While teaching certainly begins with a discipline and subject matter, that’s certainly not its extent; it’s ultimately about helping students to become better, stronger individuals.
What is one piece of advice you'd like to give students?
As difficult as it may be, try not to compare yourself to others. We’re all unique, each of us acquiring knowledge and experience in our own time. It's the actual learning process that truly counts, not the speed at which you reach your goal.
What are some of your passions?
While reading and writing are certainly among my passions, my family, especially my husband and children, are absolutely my greatest passion. I am blessed to have an incredible family, all of whom have been supportive of my various ideas, excursions, and endeavors.
What are some of your personal or professional goals?
My goals, much like my life itself, have evolved over time. What I most desire now, in both my personal and professional lives, is healthy balance. Personally, I have a wonderful family; professionally, I have a wonderful job; individually, I enjoy both. Stress is a result of a lack of balance and an absence of enjoyment.
What is your most memorable experience as a student?
My most memorable experience as a student occurred during my sophomore year of college. I was having a conversation with one of my favorite professors during his office hours. I was offering an analysis of a literary passage, but lacked the confidence to just say what I thought. He pulled a paper I had written from his desk and thrust it toward me. "This is beautiful," he said, “but you have to stand behind it. Have the courage to support your convictions. If you can state it and support it, I can accept it. You need to start believing in yourself.” That conversation, while somewhat terrifying at the time, ultimately taught me my voice mattered. That lesson, in turn, is the one I most want to teach my own students.
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength lies in my desire and willingness to question. I am curious by nature and take virtually nothing at face value; I want to understand the issues and ideas presented to me and will continue to ask questions until I am comfortable with my level of understanding. Only by asking questions can we obtain the answers/information/knowledge that we seek. It has been my personal experience that those who are bothered by questions often have something to hide. :-)