Facilitator—a buzzword popular with my professors but with little meaning for me—was how I characterized myself in my 1968 teaching statement. Dictator would have been more accurate back then. Now, as I move toward retirement, facilitator finally fits, thanks to my use of course management software in both online and on-campus classes. In my college classes I provide opportunities, support, and guidance, but students have to make the choice to access materials which await them within the software. In other words, students and I become partners in their learning.
Just how important opportunities for active engagement are became apparent in an on-campus class when a pleasant but passive student groused, “Why do WE have to download materials? I just want teachers to hand me papers, and I fill them out and give them back.” My response? After a very long sigh, “Welcome to college learning!”
Mary Pat McQueeney
Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kansas
40 years in education