I thought I’d begin this blog with a little history of me—more than what the cover letter and resume can tell, anyway.
I’m the daughter of two teachers. I was lucky enough to inherit teaching talents from both my parents. My mom spent most of her career teaching 2nd grade and later became a Counselor, working with all age groups. My dad taught high school business courses until he became a principal for a K-8 campus.
My first official teaching experience was when I was nine years old. I had been in children’s theater the year before. During the summer, our theater coach was also a swim instructor. She lived conveniently near us, so I was able to walk or bike to “work”. While she taught the class from the deck where everyone could see her, each of us, as a teacher’s assistant, would work with one child to complete the exercise in the water. With the tiniest of students, we would bob under water and blow bubbles or count fingers. With other age groups, we’d lead them across the pool while they worked on their kick or developed a stroke. In exchange for being the personal swimming instructor for a much younger child, I got free swimming lessons and advanced my own technique and learned some diving and even synchronized swimming. Once I met the age qualifications, I became a certified swim instructor. Many of my summers from high school to college were spent teaching kids to swim.
I was also involved in music; I played the flute. I practiced a lot and sat first chair most years. Later, I also became Drum Major. Both of these experiences required not just leadership, but also management and instruction.
In college, I was lucky to find both the campus Volunteer Services Center and the campus leadership program. I took every class I could (all were free and not for credit) and applied for leadership roles within the volunteer organizations I had joined. The leadership classes enhanced my teaching skills while campus involvement and volunteer service gave me a chance to apply the learning. Just a few months before graduation, I was offered a full-time job with the university. I was responsible for all the training and support for a document imaging system that was implemented to help convert the campus to a paperless environment. While in that role, I pursued a Master’s degree in higher education.
After finishing my the graduate coursework, I took a job at another university’s help desk and learning center. I had a much wider audience to support, so I had many more responsibilities in training and teaching.
When I relocated back to my home state, I did so with the intent of pursuing more graduate work. I earned a College Teaching Certificate from Texas A&M University’s Educational Administration and Human Resource Development department.
In virtually every job I have had, I have written instruction manuals and trained others. I have always been the go-to person for software and other technical questions. There are two reasons colleagues approach me with these types of questions.
- I may already know the answer or can probably figure it out.
- More importantly, I’m an incredibly patient teacher. I know that everyone can not do everything. A little help goes a long way, especially if it’s an infrequent task.
Everyone—regardless of age or experience or education—has something to learn. Those who keep an open mind can learn.