I guess I have always enjoyed being a part of a learning community, and teaching at the university level is a way for me to continue learning. Of course, I have a real love for my discipline – teaching German language, literature and culture, and when you have a real passion for something, teaching others about it just seems natural.
I’m not a slave to a particular methodology or approach. Instead, I try to gauge my students and find out where they are, and then try to move them forward. In my classes I tend to use humor as a way to relax students and to get them past the fear of speaking in another language. I try to help students relax, forget about every potential mistake and just learn to communicate. I always try to remember that I am teaching students, not just my discipline.
The German curriculum here is largely my doing and it continues to evolve from one year to the next. That is one of the great things about Mount Union—it is small enough and flexible enough to allow faculty to experiment with the courses and the curriculum in order to make it fit our students.
Best Part of the Job
The best part of my career is teaching, that is for certain. If I can engage students in a meaningful way, then I am in my element. While I appreciate the quiet time alone in my office to read and do some research, I welcome the opportunity to work with students outside of the classroom.
I really enjoy the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (KHIC), particularly the upper floors. There are such wonderful views of the campus and of the lakes. The best area is the third floor reading room overlooking the lakes. No matter what the season, it is a great place to just sit, relax, read and take in the view.
Mount Union gives students a well-rounded approach to their field. Presumably, anyone can learn simple business rules and transactions, but with a liberal arts education, you learn not only those practical things, but also the speaking, reading, writing and critical thinking skills that you need to advance in any career. I really feel that my colleagues and I work very hard to prepare students for the future, not just the first job they might get after graduating.