Explore the Impact of Academic Mentorship
“My Mentor…” posts are short pieces written by members of the Trilogy community to highlight their passion and the mentors that had an impact in their lives. This post is written by Jeffrey T. He’s spent 30 + years as an educator and looks forward to working with many more students online! Beginning in public schools, as a social studies teacher, he went on to teach music to kids for kindergarten through college. Teaching music, to elementary students in particular, gave Mr. T a deep insight into how the mind processes information. All the essential parts of the intellect are involved in teaching music: gross and fine motor skills, reading, writing, math, listening skills, art, and pure emotional well being. He’s a versatile instructor!
Why is education important to you?
I was raised in a family of academic overachievers. There was never any doubt in my life that education would open any door I chose to open. I am the only family member who did not attend an Ivy League school. The rub, however is, while school work came easily for the rest of my family, I have learning disabilities that forced me to struggle and design my own personal strategies for learning. I think this has made me a better teacher than someone who for learning is natural. I understand what it can be like to struggle and even fail sometimes. But I love to learn and I always will!
What do you enjoy most about being an academic mentor?
I love the personal yet convenient way that Trilogy’s Learning Management System connects me with students. I can present the student with multimedia experiences and give immediate feedback. I can read the body language of a student who is not following me and immediately change my strategies to suit the needs of each individual student. Most important, I LOVE seeing the light go on in a students face when he or she reaches the "aha moment." That is one of the most rewarding parts of being a educator.
Who was an influential mentor that impacted your life and how did they help you grow?
I have many - perhaps too many to name. There was my European history teacher that presented history as the art of storytelling, except much of it was stranger than fiction. Also, my English teacher who taught a class in film. She showed us excerpts from the film version of Catch 22. I enjoyed it so much that I actually got a copy of the classic novel by Joseph Heller and actually read it! Without it being assigned! That's right, I was a teenage boy who CHOSE to read a novel. I remember my mother telling me that she could hear me laughing out loud throughout the house as I read it. I re-read Catch 22 every ten years or so and it still remains as witty and darkly relevant as it was back when Jimmy Carter was president.
If you are looking for an academic mentor for your student, ask for Jeffrey!
For more on Trilogy's Mentors, follow our "My Mentor..." series.
Here’s our last post from Sabatino C: The Impact of Academic Mentorship