How long have you been an educator?
What is your favorite part about being a community or technical college educator?
I like connecting with my students and making a real difference in their lives.
What is your best piece of advice for new or existing colleagues at community or technical colleges in your field?
Get to know your students and take an interest in their lives and their goals. Always encourage them to keep trying.
How do you connect with your students?
I talk to them personally each day and answer their emails quickly. I give them two or three different ways to communicate with me. I give them space when they need it and support when they’re struggling.
Share a memorable teaching experience and explain why it was so impactful.
My students at VAST Academy are labeled intellectually or developmentally disabled. For one of our reflection/expressive activities, I asked them to respond to this question: “What do you wish your high school teachers would have known about you?” I gave them time to reflect and make notes. Then I recorded their responses. They were heartbreaking to hear their stories. This activity impacted my students because they felt like someone heard them, listened to them, and cared about them.