NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A voice of literature, Elle Yarborough

Elle Yarborough, who is a full-time professor of the English Department at NECC, didn’t go to college with the mindset of becoming a teacher. While Elle was finishing up her master’s in English and participating in Community Outreach, one of the faculty members came to her with an opportunity.

“I was told one of the teachers quit … and (was asked if) I would be interested in working in her place for the next week or two while the school tried to find a replacement,” Yarborough says.

Because of her decision to work those two weeks, Yarborough was able to find her passion for teaching.

She has now been working as an English Professor at Northern Essex for five years. She teaches English Comp I & II, Art of the Movies and American Literature I & II.

“One thing I love about teaching is seeing a different perspective of others from their writing,” Yarborough says.

In Yarborough’s Art of the Movies course, her sincerity and passion make class discussion on different types of movies brilliantly motivating.

“One of the assignments we had to do was create a short film under 90 seconds on a topic that was found in the movie ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Our group had a hard time trying to contribute to the group, so when we asked Elle what we should do next, she was able to come up with a solution,” says Sarah Smith, a student in Yarborough’s Art of Movies class.

Yarborough has two sons who are under the age of six.  “One of the hardest parts is balancing family, child care and working.

My husband travels which leads me to be a single mom for 2-3 weeks a month,” says Yarborough.  Despite this stress, she manages to come into class each day with a positive attitude.

Ellison Pena, who is also taking a course with Elle, says, “She is always in a good mood, which is something I really enjoy.”