Summary | Reflection | Letters and Testimonials
While designing this page, I searched my records for letters of reference and testimonials and found several but felt they did not paint a full image of my learning journey. I approached a couple of key influential people from my past and asked for some honest impressions. The first one below is from Carol Matheson, who, through reflection, I now realize had been my personal teacher, tutor and mentor, and was a crucial guide on my path towards being an adult educator. Carol was the Educational Consultant at the Private Career College I was employed at, tasked with the role of assisting vocational instructors in becoming adult educators.
For me, teaching at Canadian Therapeutic College (CTC) was not just a job, it was my schooling, my education in adult education, and Carol was my own private teacher. Receiving her letter was like receiving a report card, but only nine years later (I think I passed). It reminded me of how much those years influenced my practice and who I have become, and essentially has brought me to where I am today. I was not aware that my passion, compassion, and commitment to my own growth was so evident then. What led me to the college was an epochal event, and the new job as Program Director, and my commitment to growth and change, all stem from the transformational learning I experienced due to the event and the resulting post traumatic growth. I couldn't name it then but through my continued growth and study, I have developed a firm understanding of transformational learning through applying and comparing theory to my own personal experiences. The personal change stemming from the epochal event brought me to the college and I was lucky to have Carol and others at the college to guide my course.
Carol guided my practice from instructor–centered teaching to student–centered facilitation. She helped me understand that adult students have a wealth of experience and will actually learn better with each other when properly facilitated. This concept was applied in my life as well, removing me from the centre and putting energy into others. Trust, support and honest constructive feedback became the basis of every class and is now prevalent in not only my role as an educator but also comprises the foundation of my management philosophy. I thank all those who have been part of my journey but Carol will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Carol.
Letters and Testimonials
May 4, 2017
I was delighted, but not surprised, to hear that you are pursuing a Master’s Degree in Adult Education. You are always pursuing possibilities!
Of course, your request brought back a flood of memories and I would like to share a few with you that I think confirm that you are on the right path both for you and the Paramedic profession.
I must begin with my observation that you brought some personal qualities to your role as Program Director that had a significant impact of the quality of the program that you were creating.
Your first task was to design a rich, compelling curriculum for student success in both the program and in the provincial certification process. Rather than attempt this task independently, you wisely drew on the expertise of your instructor staff. This sense of the value of team work with a common goal eventually made it easier for you to see that that same sense of shared decision making had real value in creating a powerful learning environment for students.
While the designing of curriculum demanded your full attention it also opened up the door to the next phase of your learning that led to you become a demanding but understanding and effective adult educator. How many lunch hour discussions did we have about how frustrated and disappointed you often were with the student response to and participation in each class?
I know that you will have built on these skills since last we worked together. I wish you every success, Dave.
Carol Matheson, B.A., M.Ed., CPPC, CRC
Elementary School Principal (ret’d), Halton Board of Education