Brigham Young Universuty (Theatre)
When Vatterott first asked me to teach their Access class, I wondered, for a moment, how one “teaches” a computer program in a classroom setting. I’ve been teaching word processing and spreadsheets for about a quarter of a century (ever since the softwares of choice were WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3), but almost always in one-on-one settings. In my most extended engagement, I spent two years consulting at Anheuser-Busch as they transitioned to WordPerfect and Lotus.
These experiences addressed the specific, rather than the general, capabilities of the software. There is a naturalness to that. These programs were designed to be problem solvers and are – I think – best taught in problem solving situations. I couldn’t imagine giving a one hour lecture on how to create a query.
Borrowing from my previous experiences, I made the Access class about solving problems with the software. As the class progressed, I found bigger and bigger problems for them to solve that involved increasingly complex features of the program.
Ultimately, that’s what you’ll get from me in the computer software division of my tutoring subjects. We’ll learn by making the application solve your problems
This is an approach that can also work – and work quite well – in the study of the Bible. The approach here can also be broader. For depth of understanding, nothing really replaces the open discussion. This is very effectively done in groups (I spent almost four years teaching the adult scripture study class at my church), but even more powerfully in small settings – even one-on-one – as I did for two years prior to that as a full-time missionary. What unlocked the scriptures for me was learning how to ask and find an answer to the “why” questions.
The Bible, you see, does a consistently good job answering the “who” and the “what” questions – and does reasonably well with the “how” questions, but will usually only give the first couple of layers of the “why” behind the passage or the story.
Left to the student to dig for are the deeper “whys” that create a richness of comprehension.
As to the final two subjects in my list (I’m nothing if not versatile) I can’t claim any formal teaching experience – although I did tutor my wife through her college-level history class. Poor teachers of history fixate on names and dates. They’ve lost the spirit of their subject. History is simply a story. It is a grand, epic story that is the sum of thousands of smaller but no less amazing stories. It is an endless succession of cause and effect – sometimes unimaginably small causes with far-reaching effects. And when you read it that way, it does become very, very relevant to life in this oh, so modern world. As with the Bible, the “why” is the key. You find the why, and you unlock the story.
Public speaking is not something I have ever taught – in fact, I’m not 100% convinced it can be taught the way that math or geography can be taught. I have fairly extensive experience as a public speaker. To my list of activities, add actor with most of the better community performing groups in the city. In addition, I am frequently found behind the podium at church and usually conduct the weekly presentation at my office. I won’t say there are no concepts and pieces of advice that can’t be passed along, but in all truthfulness, the only way to become confident in public appearances is rehearsal. Simply put, you stand in front of audiences until it becomes second nature.
Others may have words of wisdom. I have people who will serve as your audience for as many times as you need until crowds no longer hold any terror for you. This, I believe, is the only approach that will truly work.
I am easy to work with and generally pretty available. I look forward to this opportunity. When Vatterott first asked me to teach their Access class, I wondered, for a moment, how one “teaches” a computer program in a classroom setting. I’ve been teaching word processing and spreadsheets for about a quarter of a century (ever since the softwares of choice were WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3), but almost always in one-on-one settings. In my
I served two years in Florida as a missionary among the Cuban refugees. After that I served for four years teaching the adult scripture study for my church.
I served 17 years at MasterCard where I maintained the global transaction database. This Access database served as the basis for all company transaction reports for about fifteen years. Currently I am teaching the classes on Access at Vatterott Technical College.
Among other things, I am an experienced actor. I hold a bachelor's degree in theatre and have performed in more than 100 different productions - many of them local to the St. Louis area. I currently run presentations every Tuesday night for the St Louis office of World Financial Group. Anyone curious about my abilities is encouraged to attend. My approach to public speaking is to put students in front of audiences as much as possible.