My Career in One Very Brief Story
In the mid-1990s, I was standing on a train platform in Lucerne, Switzerland, amid a handful of other high school students and chaperones, when my German teacher quietly sized me up, grinned deviously, and proclaimed, “You’re going to be a teacher. Mark my words.”
Hours prior, I had negotiated a détente between the group of exhausted, irritable students and the group of exhausted, impatient teachers. Tensions had been escalating for days and had culminated in one student almost—but not quite—throwing a bag of tangerines into the back of our German teacher’s head.
His remark confused me. It worried me. I imagined being shackled behind an institutional desk, droning on about the War of 1812 while students nod off, and thought, Nope. Not gonna happen.
Had the term been available then, my German teacher, in his precognitive flash, might have said Instructional Designer instead.
Because over the past twenty years, I have indeed built a career negotiating the space between learners and instructors. Good instruction is a journey for both parties: everyone is in a strange land. Everyone is far from home. Everyone is a little uncomfortable. Together, we have shared outcomes for that trip, but we each have our own goals as well. When we aren’t heard, when we feel like our own personal goals aren’t being met, we get frustrated. The whole trip feels like a wash, a waste of time and money. But when we are able to see and meet our goals, both shared and individual, then we grow, we learn.
Good instructional design helps everyone navigate that journey.
And that is precisely what I do today: I help learners and instructors navigate their journeys abroad together—though, thankfully, without the threat of citrus-related violence.
A Few Details
(About what I've done & love to do)
- Designed 100+ learning experiences for the entire gamut of environments: face-to-face, blended, online, and self-paced.
- Collaborated with 7 major institutions across public and private sectors and with a growing cadre of 30+ subject matter experts.
- 10+ years of experience teaching rhetoric and composition in higher education.
- Engaged 200+ learners’ hearts and minds with the skills I developed thanks to a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from George Mason University.
- Produced innumerable video, audio, graphic, and interactive assets with such tools as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Creative Suite, and a host of video and audio editing software.
- Curated end-to-end learning solutions with a variety of Learning Management Systems.
- Developed through ADDIE, SAM, and Agile design processes.
Lastly, I still enjoy a good sojourn but am very pleased to call Atlanta home. My goal is always one good adventure abroad every three years. When not traveling, I tend a vegetable garden with my cat, Proginoskes. She keeps the Echthroi at bay.