Educator Community Manager, Course Hero
Current city: Mountain View, California
Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri
Education: PhD in History, University of Rochester
Before joining the Course Hero team, I worked as a lecturer in European History in Rochester, New York, teaching everything from Homer to the French Revolution. Believe me, I know how daunting it can be to create a semester’s worth of teaching materials out of thin air. It took a lot of hard work, but I loved developing lesson plans and teaching strategies that would make my students’ eyes light up.
I like to think my effort paid off. Students may have been bewildered by my enthusiasm, but they “came out of the class not wanting to leave,” and they would “spend the rest of the day thinking about the things we discussed.” At least, this is what I read in my evaluations, which inspired me to work even harder as I prepared for the next semester.
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After years in the classroom, I realized that my role as an educator was centered on two tasks:
- Helping students confront the unfamiliar. There are plenty of strange things to learn from history. I still smile whenever I think of student encounters with the mischievous Renard the Fox, a medieval character so popular that the French word for fox became renard.
- Helping students relate to the unfamiliar. This was trickier. It is not always easy to see how the lives of others relate to our own. Thankfully, I had experienced mentors who taught me how to inspire my students, so that they were motivated to see the world from a new perspective.
When I moved to California, I became the one who had to confront the unfamiliar—the brave new world of Silicon Valley. It was Course Hero that convinced me to leave the classroom behind when I arrived. I would never have made this decision if I did not believe that Course Hero can help educators inspire one another, just as my mentors inspired me. Now I work with the talented Course Hero team to help educators prepare for every new semester, so that they can rededicate their time and energy to the students they teach.