Meet the Teacher

Mr. Gil Dobbs

Phone: 256 233 6613 ext. 602


Degrees and Certifications:

NWSCC--Associate in Liberal Arts ASU--Bachelor of Science in Education UAH--Master of Arts in TESOL

Mr. Gil Dobbs

Writing this biography reminds me of how many seasons have come and gone since my last reflection and, here it goes.  

We all have a life-story to tell;  I enjoy taking a glimpse into people's lives through the stories they tell--but even more so in person than in reading about them.  Sometimes, though, words are not necessary--their stories are in their life scars, in their eyes, in their hands,or in their silence.  Our uniqueness makes us all fascinating people. Consider the lives of some familiar literary characters like Odysseus, Hester Prynne, Tim O'Brien, and Atticus Finch who all embarked on a hero's journey.  Similarly, we all venture onto our own archetypal journey or quest for self-identity, and my personal journey has lead me here.  It has been my great fortune to be where I am, but not with a heavy "sigh" as Robert Frost implied for having taken the "less travelled" road.  The metaphorical forks in the road are unavoidable and circumstance oftentimes forces one away from the prototypical "preferrable" road.  But what an enormous difference that "less travelled" road had made in my life because along the way I had the honor of making the acquaintance with truly genuine people...people who were free of pretense...people who when I reminisce my heart wells up with gratitude and joy.  It is these people who I will always carry with me.  Incidentally, many of them were, at one time or another, mentors who have greatly influenced me.  So, it was they who led me here...and it is they to whom I am greatly indebted.  This is not to say that I have not crossed paths with mean, xenophobic, insular characters---after all, there will always be obstacles to overcome in any journey...some of us just have more obstacles to overcome than others.

I grew up an ESL student...and to say school was arduous is an understatement.  I attended numerous schools due to the transitory nature of military life, but mostly with the department of defense schools.  Constantly relocating did nothing to promote lasting friendships, so this is one aspect of being a dependent in the military I feel I could have worked harder on.  After graduating high school, I gravitated to the familiarity of military life; so instead of directly attending college, I enlisted in the US Army where I acquired a third language, Spanish.  My life has been centered around language and its acquisition, so it stands to reason that teaching ESL and Language Arts are what I do.

So, an obvious question begs to be asked---did I plan to become a language teacher?  Well, I did not realize this until college, but as it turns out, this is what Joseph Campbell considers "following your bliss."  Campbell states that in so doing "you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.  When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors for you."  There is not much that I know for certain, but I do know that since my beginning, my life was not mine to plan; my life is as God has written it...