In my younger, thinner years I was a model, (one of the originals on the “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”, Virginia Slims campaign); practiced law in the Salt Lake Valley; served as a municipal court judge in Utah and Montana; owned a cafe and flipped hamburgers in the Yellowstone ecosystem; taught on ground as a Professor of Women’s Studies; and now teach online and develop courses. Whew!
I live high in the Rocky Mountains, 100 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah, in a town of 180 souls that my Great-Grandparents founded in 1867. We are a farming and ranching community and it is the joy of my life to live in this beautiful, tranquil setting and be able to work from home. Life is very good!
My philosophy of education is a student-centric. I believe in focusing on student’s individual needs and goals and challenging students in the process of their learning. My goal is to help students develop the yearning to be lifelong learners and enabling them to understand the limitlessness of their critical thinking skills.
It is my philosophy that individual differences need to be recognized, respected, and celebrated. I believe that all students have strengths and it is the goal of an educator to mentor students in identifying and building upon these strengths.
My personal philosophy of education involves helping students realize the relevance and application of their studies to the world in which they play a part. I believe that students learn best through real-world experiences which are meaningful to them.
My personal experiences contribute to my philosophy today in that the most meaningful learning takes place when students are engaged, respected, motivated, and interested. It is my belief that the way to achieve this is by giving students a strong voice in their learning process and environment and by assisting them in finding connections in the curriculum with their own life and interests.
By allowing students to bring their own stories, experiences, and ideas into the classroom, students collaborate, they develop that most useful of real world skills and they learn from each other, and respect each others’ opinions and differences. My philosophy of education is grounded in respect.
Respect for the student and the totality of their experiences and being, and respect for the process that nurtures and encourages them to question and challenge the world around them. Now more than ever they are citizens of the world and that view must have its foundation in respect for the diversity and richness that they discover through the educational journey.
JFKU Online affords me the opportunity to reach those students who, for reasons of time or place, cannot begin or continue their educational journey. These students understand the importance of an education and how valuable it is to their lives. There are dreams involved here.
I picture the student: it’s 11pm and there is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, their spouse is asleep in the BARCO-lounger in front of the TV, the washing machine is going, and they are just sitting down with their laptop and studies. They know they are not alone, we are there for them, at all hours, no matter where in the world they sit, and we are there.