PHOTO: Pilon celebrates the last day of school with her American Literature class in 2019, something she wasn’t able to do last year.
By Julia Limburg,
Ever since Carin Pilon was a little girl, she was interested in becoming a teacher.
“I would make my sisters play school with me. […] I would always be the teacher,” Pilon said.
Pilon has been teaching for 35 years, 15 of those in the Davis Joint Unified School district, and eight at Davis High.
Pilon has always loved reading and language, so becoming an English teacher was natural. “While attending Stanford, I realized what a privilege my education was, and I felt a responsibility to pass that learning on to others,” Pilon said.
After Pilon got her master’s in English, she took a year off and then got her teaching credential at UC Berkeley. When she moved to Davis to pursue teaching, Pilon joined the Area 3 Writing Project which is a professional development network for California teachers at UC Davis.
While a part of the Area 3 Writing Project, Pilon worked as a teacher consultant. “[I gave] presentations about writing and literature to other teachers and school districts,” Pilon said. She also worked on connecting teachers from different universities, community colleges and high schools.
Spencer Elliott, an English teacher at DHS, worked closely with Pilon on the development of the DJUSD District Wide Writing Assessment Project. “The group members changed from year to year, but Ms. Pilon stuck with it the longest, really keeping the project alive in my opinion,” Elliott said.
Pilon enjoys working with other teachers and helping them with their professional development.
Although she enjoys being a teacher, there are some obstacles that come with it. Pilon says that one of the biggest is the “enormous amount of time it takes to do the job.” She adds that the increase in the number of students in each class was difficult to adjust to.
Despite teaching the same subject to several classes, Pilon learns something new every time she teaches.
“[I am proud of] the moments […] when I see students who get the chance to choose their own reading realize or rediscover that they actually like to read,” Pilon said.