Amazing Teachers

Shannon Chance, Ron Daniel, and Kim McGrath in Dublin last week.

Shannon Chance, Ron Daniel, and Kim McGrath in Dublin last week.

Amazing teachers transform lives. That’s what they did for me at least!

Last week, one of the very best teachers I’ve had in my life–Ron Daniel–visited Dublin with his colleagues from Webster University. Ron is the Director of Academics at Webster’s Geneva campus.

While they were here, we got together twice to reminisce and talk about higher ed.

I didn’t post about this topic right away, because some things are difficult to express into words. This morning, I’m allowing myself to just cover the tip of the iceberg of what I’d like to say….

The best teachers I’ve experienced in life actually just put a good framework in place in for me. Then, they stepped back and let me explore the issues.

The best learning experiences I’ve had in life have happened under the astute guidance of Ron as well as:

  • Wilma Brown (my fifth grade teacher)
  • Liz Lindon and Joyce Martin (my 4-H leaders)
  • Dave Dugas, Eugene Egger, and Bob Dyck (some easy going Virginia Tech professors)
  • Bridget Arvold (my high school geometry teacher)
  • the faculty of higher ed at the College of William and Mary

I am particularly indebted to Ron Daniel (my second year architecture professor and the person who gave me my first architecture teaching job) and Wilma Brown (my fifth grade teacher who gave me my first official teaching assistant role). These two used a Montessori / Bauhaus sort of approach.

They put relevant materials in front of me and let me do my thing.

Wind me up and I’m like the Energizer bunny!

Thankfully, Bridget Arvold was there at precisely the right moment in time as well. In ninth grade, I was struggling through geometry because I had initially been assigned a very poor teacher. Thankfully, I met Bridget and had the sense to change instructors. She made geometry seem fun and logical. Without her, I don’t think I’d have has a solid foundation for becoming an architect.

Teachers like these make learning fun. They gave me the challenge and sense of support needed for me to start learning to explore this big, wonderful world. I thank my lucky stars to have known them.

5 Comments

    1. I like to define geometry as the study of relationships in space rather than focus on its root in measurement. It is everywhere and oh so beautiful. We use logical reasoning as well as intuition and creativity in our geometric pursuits. Obviously, Shannon picked up on what I was attempting to do for my students, opening their minds to all of this beauty! Shannon, I am here for you and for anyone else who has a fascination with geometry.

      Like

      Reply

      1. Thanks for your fascinating view of geometry. It’s one well aligned with architectural design. And in transferring into your class, I learn a crucial lesson about taking my destiny into my own hands. Thank God for that! And thank *you* for helping grow little Shannon into a Fulbright Scholar.

        Remember that summer course you taught on computer programming when I was in (I think) middle school? The hopping bunny was interesting enough. But nothing compared to the magic of geometric proofs!

        Thanks a mil for all those life lessons.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.