Childhood dreams inspire an English profession

November 18, 2013 8:00 am Views: 124
Photo by Jessica Crawford

WCC English teacher Tim Cubero helps student Jolene Carreira on her research paper.

It all started when he was a little boy. Timothy Cubero would set up his bulletin board with an assignment planner and attendance sheet with fictional names. Cubero had always dreamt of becoming a teacher, but little did he know he’d end up becoming the popular instructor he is today.

Now as a WCC English teacher, he says he is blessed to be where he is today.

With the opportunity to work with college students, Cubero says, “I enjoy teaching college kids because they actually want to learn . . . They are really interested in getting an education and seeing that makes me enjoy teaching them.”

As a child, he remembers vividly that he would pretend to play school in his room. “I knew I was always going to become a teacher,” Cubero says.

Photo by Jessica Crawford

WCC English teacher Tim Cubero

Not only does Cubero take pride in his work in the classroom, he applies his work outside the classroom as well. He believes that teaching students has great responsibilities that involve far more than just the subject itself.

“I want to make an impact on my students’ lives. It’s beyond the teaching that makes me love coming to class with these kids every day,” Cubero says. “I want to help my students in every possible way, whether it’s in the classroom or not.”

The University of Maryland at College Park is where it all began. Although his initial plan was to become a journalist, his first college professor ended up quashing those dreams.

“I used to be a broadcast journalism major back in the 1970s,” he recalls.  “But after turning in my first paper, my teacher yelled at me, asking if I really wanted to become a journalist. I sat there looking at him, speechless.”

Cubero admits he wasn’t the best of writers back then, and he found writing to be difficult at times.
Shortly after, he decided to get his B.A. in English language arts and secondary education.

Then he attended grad school at Pepperdine University to earn his M.Ed. in curriculum design and educational administration.

Cubero has taught for the past 35 years at all grade levels. He started in Washington D. C. and finally ended up as a lecturer at WCC.

“This campus is the most beautiful campus I’ve taught at,” he says. “The people here are so kind—everybody here, from the students to the faculty.”

Cubero says he feels WCC students appreciate the help they receive. “When I would teach in high school, every paper that I’d grade and give back to the students I would usually see it in the trash can by the end of class.  But since teaching college, I have never once seen a student’s paper in the trash, which makes me feel good.”

Cubero’s dedication to his classes was tested last fall when he suffered a stroke toward the end of the semester.

“While I was in the hospital I had to learn how to function again. I forgot how to do almost everything,” he explains.

“Sitting in the hospital, all I could think about were the students. The students made me want to come back. Thinking of them made me know that I was going to come back and teach again,” he adds.

Since then, Cubero says he has been taking care of himself and doing things that he wasn’t doing before he had the stroke.

“I don’t take my body for granted anymore,” he says. “I used to not care about the little things. I would always skip breakfast and lunch, then finally eat something later in the day… Now I try to eat every meal because it’s important that you get the energy you need to make it through a long day.”

Overall, Cubero says he just wants to keep enjoying life and that his relationship with God is what keeps him going through the hard times.

Believing that everything happens for a reason, Cubero adds, “I thank God for my recovery, and it is He who makes things happen. I believe He is the reason I am where I am today.”

by John Bascuk
Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter

Recent News

  • Campus News Wordsmith emerges from the ashes

    Wordsmith emerges from the ashes

    Friends say her beauty is undeniable, her intelligence praise-worthy and her poems powerful enough to capture your soul. They describe her as “a force of nature” and “a smoking gun,” a nickname given to her after winning a boxing match in her youth. It also happens to be the image tattooed on her forearm. But WCC student Ashley Shankles also [...]

    Read more →
  • News Of The Day Notorious terrorists strike again

    Notorious terrorists strike again

    Radicalized American members of the terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are returning to the United States homeland and pose a threat to national security, according to Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson. In a 42-minute audio clip released by the terrorists on Sept. 22, an ISIS member states that they are willing to bring [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts Campus News Gallery ‘Iolani brings clay to life

    Gallery ‘Iolani brings clay to life

    Art is a universal language that can bring people together from completely different backgrounds. Gallery ʻIolani’s latest exhibit features artists who all call Hawaiʻi home. “Clay” opens its doors to the public on Friday, Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 23. Although ceramics has been part of many exhibits, “Clay” is the first in the gallery’s history to focus on [...]

    Read more →
  • Campus News MySuccess assists academic journey

    MySuccess assists academic journey

    College is the land of opportunity, and one way to guarantee success is to use those opportunities from the start. MySuccess is a new tool WCC is launching to help students map their path to higher learning. This Laulima tool is based on the importance of communication between students and their school. There are many factors that play into both [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts Community News Windward Ho’olaule’a

    Windward Ho’olaule’a

    “No amount of rain could dampen the aloha.” That’s how Windward Ho‘olaule‘a chair Bonnie Beatson summed up a day that drew crowds of folks from across the island — despite the steady showers. One of big attractions was the stellar entertainment line-up that stretched into the evening. Families also enjoyed the WCC booths, food, crafts, silent auction, garage sale, shows [...]

    Read more →
  • Campus News Community News GMO issue on Maui’s ballot as questions persist

    GMO issue on Maui’s ballot as questions persist

    In a three-hour WCC forum on Sept. 26, the bottom line seemed to be that there’s still a lot we don’t know about GMOs. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have been hotly debated for quite a few years now, with as many falsehoods as there are truths. “Be skeptical, (of) the businesses and (of) the opponents. Don’t just take anything on [...]

    Read more →
  • Entertainment Take a break tidbits

    Take a break tidbits

    Trivia, word “power” and Hawaiian Halloween words

    Read more →
  • Editorial What should the U.S. response be to the terror group ISIS?

    What should the U.S. response be to the terror group ISIS?

    I believe we should be playing more of a secondary support role. There are an alleged 40+ countries who have allied against ISIS and that in itself should be enough. Instead of controlling the situation, we should bolster others who are in that region to protect their own land, freedom and family.  —Jose Henriquez *** I’m going to go against [...]

    Read more →
  • Editorial Why do you think Hawai‘i has had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the nation?

    Why do you think Hawai‘i has had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the nation?

    I think Hawai‘i, like the rest of our nation, has lost faith in our politicians. Nothing seems to change for the better, regardless of the candidates’ political party or political views. I think the people of Hawai‘i have gotten to the point where every time an election comes around they ask, “What’s the point?” Our government nowadays seems too preoccupied [...]

    Read more →
  • Community News Candidates forum: Urban development on the Windward side?

    Candidates forum: Urban development on the Windward side?

    State Senate District 23 candidates Malaekahana Should Remain Agricultural – Gil Riviere (Democrat) Agriculture is not one activity, but many diverse businesses. It is important to distinguish between agricultural lands that may be suitable for vegetables, orchards, flowers, pasture and ranching. What is often lost in today’s conversation is the need for grazing lands. The Oahu General Plan sets forth [...]

    Read more →