August 10 – higher education

17/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I’ve often heard people talk about being inspired by other – which, to me, is not the same as someone making a difference. I’ve had a couple of teachers and professors do the latter (which of course I’ve mentioned in these days of gratitude) but only one do the former: Dr. Harry H at UBC. I ended up with a 3 year stint teaching in the Faculty of Education in 2009. As part of my teaching load, I was also required to take a course in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) – basically a 2 year long course in the fundamentals of Adult Education (since I was teaching adult learners). Harry was the instructor and before I attended, I just thought that here is another course that requires me to jump through the hoops to get to the end. However, I was wrong. Harry created an interactive, dialogue driven course with the other members of the teaching co-hort meeting once a week to discuss topics arising from various readings. For my submission of work, I had to create an intensive portfolio, a project involving the other members as well as a paper all around the effects and use of Technology in Higher Education and then take all my work and present it to an evaluator of the SOTL project. Listening to Harry and his enthusiasm about the subject matter, I was very motivated in getting the work done and of course to a high caliber. I met with Harry on numerous occasions, and received his time to go over and refine my project. Harry was also a support when issues arose in the cohort group and gave me advice on how to proceed. I successfully finished the project – one year ahead of time – and was asked my Harry to be one of the evaluators for SOTL which entailed going over the work of tenured professors in other SOTL programs – I’m only a high school teacher doing a gig at UBC!! I was honoured and accepted that role. As my 3rd year was nearing, Harry approached me to consider completing a PhD and he would act as my advisor/mentor. I was in awe – here is a man that I have been amazed by asking me to work with him?! It took me several weeks to consider the offer but alas, my life at that moment did not allow me to take up the offer. Harry H, you are an amazing professor and I was so glad that I was able to spend 3 years getting to know you and working with you! Thank you so much for being a great part of what made up my working life at UBC.

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