iOS app Android app

Pauline Hawkins
GET UPDATES FROM Pauline Hawkins
Pauline Hawkins is an adjunct English teacher at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, NH. She transitioned to college after teaching for 11 years in a public high school, where she initiated the student-run newspaper and was its adviser.

Originally from Rochester, New York, Pauline has her BA in English/Education from Canisius College and her MA in American Literature and Rhetoric from SUNY Brockport.

After living in Colorado Springs, CO, for 12 years, Pauline moved to New Hampshire to be closer to her family. She has three children -- two adult daughters and a 11-year-old son -- and is protected by a 12-pound bodyguard, her Chihuahua, Chico.

When not teaching or spending time with her family, Pauline pursues her other passion, writing. She started a blog,, in 2012 where she writes about her unique perspective on life, lessons she has learned through her son's battle with cancer, and her desire and plan to reform public education.

Pauline's first book Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a Cookie Cutter Educational System was released in April of 2015 with WordCrafts Press.

Entries by Pauline Hawkins

Two Years Later: An Outside Insider

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2016 | 9:35 PM

It's been almost two years since I submitted my resignation letter to my principal...and then posted it on my blog. I had no idea what those next hours, weeks, and months had in store for me. I had no idea that my letter would go viral, that I...

Read Post

4 Steps to a Healthier, Happier Me

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 5:36 PM

Over the past 30 years, I have had the same battle with weight that I'm sure many people can relate to. Before I had children, I had time to work out, could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about my weight. After children, however, it was a different story....

Read Post

Picking Favorites

(3) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 9:23 AM

I have had students in high school accuse me of picking favorites. At that age, it's understandable that they would have difficulties with the way the world works. They are still young and look at how unfair everything is; a fact they can't seem to accept. So when they see...

Read Post

10 Things I Learned As a New Adjunct Teacher

(80) Comments | Posted January 3, 2015 | 1:07 PM

This semester I taught two college composition classes at a community college. I started with 23 students in one class and 24 students in the other. Halfway into the semester, 7 students out of 47 just stopped coming to class.

At the end of the semester,

  • 5 students out of...
Read Post

Letter to Jenny

(7) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 1:11 PM

January 17, 2012 will forever be branded on my heart with joy and sorrow. My precious son celebrated his 7th birthday that day; it was a day that we didn't know if he'd be alive to celebrate. In the midst of our joyous celebration, I got the phone call that...

Read Post

My September 11, 2001

(8) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 9:59 AM

My husband brought me to the Denver airport for the JetBlue red-eye flight to JFK Airport on September 10, 2001. I was going back to upstate New York; he was staying in Colorado to start a new chapter in our lives.

He walked to the terminal with me. As soon...

Read Post

Relay for Life: A Survivor's Story

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 4:27 PM

It's been five years since Ian was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor: Primary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain. It was rare, one in a hundred million; the tumor had sprouted tentacles, and we didn't know for sure if we had found it before it had spread. There was no protocol...

Read Post

Jump, Bubby, Jump

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 4:26 PM

Ian is a tough little boy. He runs fast, jumps high and falls hard. If he cries, it's because he really got hurt. His cancer battle has made him stronger than I could have imagined, no thanks to me. My husband deserves all the credit for this one.

After Ian's...

Read Post

'Animal Farm' Lessons

(2) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 10:41 AM

I love teaching Orwell's Animal Farm to my high-school freshmen. It is an incredible allegory that illustrates Karl Marx's well-meaning Communism, how it prompted the people to overthrow the autocracy of Czar Nicholas II, and ultimately how Joseph Stalin used those very principles against the people who thought they were...

Read Post

My Journey Into the Spotlight

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 2:14 PM

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. My Resignation Letter went viral through Facebook and Twitter. Within two days of posting the letter on my blog, the Gazette contacted me for an interview; then, KKTV 11 News asked for an interview,...

Read Post

Opting Out: Why My Son Will Never Take State Tests

(132) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 10:14 AM

I'm taking a stand this year: My son is not taking the standardized state tests that are being mandated by the government. His school will receive a zero for my opting him out, which will lower his school's proficiency standings. On one hand, I feel bad that his school is...

Read Post

The Perfect Storm: Common Core, Standardized State Testing, and Teacher Evaluations (Part 2)

(3) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 6:47 PM

Read Part 1 here: "A Brief History on NCLB and Common Core."

The Problems with Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

As we unpacked CCSS, we started asking: "What were they thinking?" The skills and competencies don't line up vertically for each grade level. There are huge gaps in...

Read Post

A Brief History on NCLB and Common Core (Part 1)

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 11:32 AM

The last few weeks I've been putting together my thoughts on the current educational system to explain, in detail, why I wrote my resignation letter. Since it was a lengthy post, I decided to split it into two posts: Part 1: "A Brief History on NCLB and Common Core." Part...

Read Post

Why I'm Resigning After 11 Years as a Teacher

(197) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 1:48 PM

Dear Administrators, Superintendent, et al.:

This is my official resignation letter from my English teaching position.

I'm sad to be leaving a place that has meant so much to me. This was my first teaching job. For eleven years I taught in these classrooms, I walked these halls, and I...

Read Post