This award-winning math teacher loves making a difference in the lives of her students.
Title: Instructor of Mathematics
Present Employer: Baton Rouge Community College
Now resides in: Zachary
Degree: B.S. mathematics
Additional Education: M.A education/curriculum and instruction from University of Phoenix Online; 18 graduate level mathematics credit hours, LSU.
How did you earn the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award from Baton Rouge Community College and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Louisiana Community and Technical College System? One of my colleagues nominated me for the Excellence in Teaching Award at Baton Rouge Community College. This award is given once a year at the Spring Convocation to a member of the faculty who displays exemplary work. I was the honored faculty member selected for the award this year, and I am very proud of this achievement. Baton Rouge Community College is one of the 10 schools in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), and I also received an Outstanding Faculty Award from LCTCS at their annual conference this year. I am extremely proud of these awards.
How I got to Tech: My boyfriend, who is now my husband, was studying engineering at Tech. Since it has a great mathematics department, I decided to apply after getting my Associate of Science degree from LSU-Alexandria. I was awarded a scholarship, so off to Louisiana Tech I went. I also got a job in the math department tutoring and grading papers.
My professional route to my present job: After I graduated from Tech, I attended graduate school in mathematics at LSU in 1993. My studies were put on hold as I had three lovely children. I then decided to be a stay-at-home mom and opened a part-time tutoring business in my home. When my youngest child began middle school, I went back to graduate school, but this time in education through the University of Phoenix Online. I wanted to learn more about student psychology and the different learning styles people have. I also began working as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC). I earned a master’s in 2006, and I began a full-time teaching position at BRCC.
An average day on the job: I arrive at BRCC at 7:30 every morning. I work in my office for an hour and welcome students to bring in any questions on math problems to me. Then, depending on the day of the week, I teach a calculus class, a trigonometry class, and a college algebra class before lunch. After lunch I teach a couple of elementary algebra classes, volunteer by tutoring in the Academic Learning Center, and hold more office hours. There seems to always be test papers to grade, online homework assignments to create, and class lecture notes to review before class. Throughout the month, there are several committee meetings to attend and responsibilities to hold. Some days are long, and sometimes I bring work home to finish, but at the end of the day, I feel good about what I do.
How did Tech help prepare you for this: I took many mathematics and science courses at Louisiana Tech. My professors taught me how to think logically and analytically. As I sat in class, I would also study my professors' different teaching methods. I would apply those techniques when I tutored students, and this helped me to devise my own teaching style.
What advice would you give incoming freshmen? Work hard and never give up! You will be so proud of yourself in the end!
Some triumphs you are most proud of: I am proud to say that I get some kind of "pat on the back" from a student every day. I don't know of any other job with such a reward. Some students have given me thank you cards with deep sentiments of gratitude on how I have changed their lives forever. I enjoy reading the student evaluations of me every semester. I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to be able to influence their lives in such a positive way.
If I've learned one thing in life, it's: to be honest. My students trust me when I say I care about their success in my class because they quickly see that I truly do care. This motivates them to work hard in my class, and they will then put forth every effort and invest long hours of homework and studying. In the end they are so proud of themselves at what they have accomplished.
A couple of favorite memories of Tech: I really enjoyed hanging out with my husband (then boyfriend) and our group of friends. I lived in Harper Dorm when the new food court opened across the street. I remember thinking how cool it was ... like a food court at the mall! I could get a salad from the salad bar or get a pizza from Pizza Tech or even get a steak from the steakhouse.