Adult Educator - Professor, Durham College
I am an experienced adult educator with a demonstrated history of leadership working in a post-secondary environment. I am skilled in on-line, face-to-face, and hybrid teaching, instructional design, curriculum development, career development, and facilitation. I have a Master of Arts in Education from University of Phoenix, an Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Teacher of Adults (honours) certificate from Centennial College.
What factors led you to enter your current field of work?
When I was an undergrad at York University, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I had a B average and plenty of volunteer work but I was not accepted into a Bachelor of Education program. After graduating from York, I worked for a number of companies doing sales and customer service. About five years after graduation, I was working for a company in Scarborough that I did not like. Centennial College was right down the road. I decided I was going to add to my degree with a diploma in human resources but when I called to ask a few questions, I ended up being offered a part-time teaching job! I enjoyed teaching adults so much that I decided to pursue adult education as my career field.
What does success mean to you?
Success is self-defined. For me, success is the accomplishment of realistic goals resulting in continued growth of an individual. Small successes will lead to bigger successes.
If you weren’t in your current professional role, what would you be doing?
I was not in my current professional role, my guess is I would be working in human resources.
How do you build and maintain your professional network, and how has this benefited your career?
Building my own professional network was challenging when I first graduated from university because I was very much (and still am) an introvert. While I was a student at York University, I worked as a guest services associate at the Hockey Hall of Fame. My work at the Hockey Hall of Fame really helped me become comfortable approaching and speaking with people I did not know. It was my job to “talk hockey” with the guests and I made it a priority to speak with as many guests in a day as possible. Over time, my professional network has grown from working for multiple employers but also from multiple professional development opportunities (such as weekend courses, conferences). More recently, my professional network has grown with my own students looking to connect with me (predominately on LinkedIn) and through meeting students and alumni at York University events.
What are the strategies you use to remain resilient during challenging situations?
To remain resilient during challenging situations, it is important to take inventory of what aspects of the situation is within your control and what is not. There is no point in wasting energy on things that are outside of your control; spend that energy on things that you can control.
Once you have inventory of what is within your control, ask for help if you need it. Asking for help is a sign of strength (not weakness). Collaboration with others is key as nobody has ever succeeded from a challenging situation alone.
Finally, in a challenging situation you need to be patient with yourself and others. Sometimes a challenging situation might resolve quickly but more times than not a challenging situation could take months or years to resolve. For me, deep-breathing and mindfulness exercises has helped build patience.
If you knowing what you can control, ask for help, and be patient, you will over time eventually see a resolution to a challenging situation.