How did you become interested in teaching?
“I can thank Connie Saho and La Salle Drama for developing an interest in teaching. She helped me to develop self-confidence and developed my personal skills of public speaking. As I went onto college, I realized that the experiences I had with Drama really impacted my life. I wanted to impact the youth of today as I was affected by my experience in Drama.”
You are involved with several sports teams as a coach. Explain the impact that has on your teaching.
“I enjoy getting involved outside the classroom with the students. Coaching students in swimming and volleyball helps develop a rapport with them that I can bring into the classroom. It helps me understand their background and interests to help teach them in a style they learn best with in the classroom. And it helps them see me as more than a teacher when I am lecturing or teaching my classes.”
You have had many Kairos experiences as a student, student leader, and adult leader. Describe your personal experience with Kairos.
“Kairos has been an important experience in my faith life. It is an extremely powerful experience that the students get to enjoy when they come here. I went on Kairos while at La Salle and I was fortunate enough to come back and be a leader when I was in college. I was an adult leader while I was teaching at Mercy. Now at La Salle, I had the opportunity to go this year on K98. Participating as an adult leader not only gives me an opportunity to take some time away with “God’s time”, it’s an experience with the students outside the classroom that is one of the most memorable experiences at La Salle.
What is your teaching style?
“I like to use a variety of resources to teach. Not every student learns the same way or at the same pace. Some students are ahead of what I am teaching, others are on the same pace, while others need a slower pace. Each class starts with a concept lecture, but the rest of the time is set aside for students to work on the concept the way they best learn. I am available to work with an individual student or a small group of students to go over concepts and explain it to them that they will understand it the best. If the student chooses, he has options to work through the concept using group work, educational videos, the book or taking their own notes independently. I want each student to learn the mastery of the concept in their own way at their own pace. To me, I don’t care when you learn a concept as long as you learn it.”
On teaching the UC Information Technology Post-Secondary program:
“I’m really looking forward to the UC IT Post-Secondary program to start. I will be taking the 18 master-level hours at UC over the next 6 months to receive the program certificate to teach in the program next year. Right now the plan is for me to teach Visual Programming and the Fundamentals of Information Technology classes next year. I am excited about the interdisciplinary opportunities this new program will offer our students.”
What about the idea that students won’t use Algebra or Geometry after they graduate?
“I get asked all the time how I make Algebra and Geometry real for students. In reality, people use Algebra and Geometry practically every day. I bring in examples of using Algebra in cooking and baking and other home-related and hobby topics. Almost everything in carpentry, house repairs, arts/crafts, decorating, and many more fields use Geometry. Finding those specific examples and using them is class makes the concepts real for many students.”
How do you use outside experiences in your classroom?
“When I worked in business developing and marketing in the Point of Sale and Digital Signage industry, I found that many students were coming out of high school and college without a strong skill set in Excel or other spreadsheet software. That software skill set is vital in many industries. I build in Excel usage in my upperclassmen classes building the student’s skill set for beyond La Salle into whatever career path they choose.”