Classroom Environment

I develop a classroom that has a relaxed atmosphere and a high standard for excellence where students are actively involved in the teaching/learning process. While providing students the skills necessary to meet the course competencies, I set up classes that require students to take responsibility for their own learning and which encourage them to develop qualities not measured on most tests.

I am very interested in having students create materials for other students. During the semester, students consult course materials previously created by students and then create materials for other students. Students also also contribute their voices to academic discussions that take place on a global scale. Links to student writing can be found at Scholarly Voices.

Act Responsibly

Because one of the core abilities in each of the classes I teach is to “act responsibly,” students learn aspects of professional conduct. Sometimes, I share materials that cross my desk as a way to teach strategies that can give students success not only in class, but in other college courses as well as in their professional lives.

Academic Integrity

Although codes and policies are nice to have in place, it is even more important to have processes where students can learn the rules of academic integrity. I do understand that many students find the rules used in academia to be a foreign language. As such, I integrate lessons into my courses which provide students with the opportunity to learn the rules they need for success in the courses I teach as well as other courses.

Because I take academic integrity seriously, I am serious about teaching students what is expected of them. Furthermore, I have created Resources for Researchers which includes handouts, worksheets, tutorials, and other materials. This book and the supporting materials have been released under a Creative Commons license so that it can be used by other faculty members in their classes.

Etena Sacca-vajjena

I blog about my teaching strategies and other academic issues on Etena Sacca-vajjena.

The artwork includes images of Rachel Wilcox Liberacki with her students in circa 1930, her marriage to Alexander Liberacki in 1931, a 1965 letter certifying she can teach special education, and an image of the god Woden.

Tribute to Rachel Wilcox Liberacki

I come from a teaching family. Both of my maternal grandparents were teachers as were three of their children; one of whom—my mother—married a teacher. In my genealogical research, I have discovered that the support of teaching goes back for generations.

In this piece, I focus on Rachel Wilcox Liberacki's teaching. Pictured is one of her classes from c. 1930 as well as the portrait taken when she married Alexander Liberacki in 1931. As a married woman, she initially had to leave her teaching position because married women were not permitted to teach, but she was later able to return to teaching. In 1965, she earned her certification to teach students who were then referred to as "mentally handicapped." Although it was not possible for her students to attend college in the 1960s, she would be pleased to know that many of the students she taught over the years are now welcomed into college classrooms.

The image of Woden has special significance to my grandmother's family because, if you believe what is written in the Saxon Chronicles, he is her 50th great grandfather. Woden was a strong advocate of advancing knowledge and once sacrificed himself on the Yggdrasil tree to gain knowledge of the ruins. The image of Wooden was drawn by Lorenz Frølich in 1895.