Bubb retiring

Logan Bland

When starting a job or occupation, retirement might seem far away; however, for IVCC English professor Jennifer Bubb that day is soon. 

Bubb started working at IVCC in September of 1998, 25 years later she is retiring. Bubb, who specializes in developmental education, takes great pride in getting to know her students. 

Part of my job is changing their mindset, being their cheerleader Bubb states. She also stated students need to set their baggage down and move on and let the past be in the past. When Bubb first came to IVCC a friend influenced her to take a position in helping with writing and reading. 

Working 25 years in the same place provides many memories. For Bubb, she has too many favorites to name. The one thing that stood out to her was a trip where she was able to get involved with the Sheridan prison. The culinary prisoners made desert for Bubb and the fellow teachers one day and made lunch another day. Bubb found this trip very intriguing and eye opening as she gathered more gratitude for the freedom she has after seeing what the inmates have to go through and the lack of privacy and the stripping of humanity. 

In terms of what she’ll miss most is the comradery of the students and fellow staff members but the grading? The grading will not be missed. 

Kirk Lockwood, a longtime colleague of Bubb’s, said he appreciates how much Bubb cares about her students.  He said she is one of those teachers who can push her students “to meet high standards” while also showing “genuine care and concern for each one as an individual.”

Tina Hardy, another long-time colleague, provided her insight on working with Bubb, “Today was the last time I’ll ever pair up with her to try to reach out to students – our last joint hurrah.

It brings me to tears because I know I will be losing an ally, a friend, and a person who understands struggling learners like no other. IVCC will also be losing a remarkable teacher.  Lots of instructors have helped teach and motivate students over the years, but few have helped students with significant learning and personal obstacles move through, and well beyond, developmental education to meet their goals in a way that Jen knows how to. 

She sets high expectations and asks people to meet her bar. 

She teaches with a systematic structure level that helps people “stay on the tracks.”  She truly cares about her students and the concerns they bring to her class, but she makes them accountable. 

She gives students who may have shown up here without foundational college readiness skills the tools they need to move to the next level and succeed, if they decide to follow her lead.”

Prior to working at IVCC Bubb worked as a kindergarten teacher. She graduated LaSalle Peru High School and attended Illinois Valley Community College and transferred to Illinois State University. Bubb’s influence to become a teacher was having great teachers herself as she went on with her education.

Bubb offered advice for any younger students with aspirations of becoming a teacher. Bubb stated to make sure you have a motive for a challenge and love for students. She also said you have to go into it with the mindset of “this is something you really want to do.” You have to be organized, on time and wear many hats, Bubb states. 

Bubb has no set and stone retirement plans with the exception of having aspirations of seeing singer PINK in concert this summer. As for writing off her story of teaching completely, Bubb is not sure what the future holds. She held tutoring lessons at her home that started light and began to become a nice side gig and helpful for students.