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Why I Joined Course Hero: Richard Mattox, Educator Community

As a former professor of film, Richard Mattox shares how Course Hero helped him develop his curriculum—and how he hopes to return the favor in his new role.

Richard Mattox

Educator Community Manager, Course Hero
Current city: San Francisco, California
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
Education: Master of Professional Writing, University of Southern California

After spending several years in the entertainment industry, I fell—almost by accident—into teaching English and Film Studies at Columbia State Community College outside of Nashville. Equipped with nothing more than a roll sheet and a classroom assignment, I hadn’t the slightest idea where to begin. I was genuinely terrified.

I set out to design my Introduction to Film course, recalling how impactful that class had been for me as an undergraduate student. My passion for film was inspired by the Introduction to Cinema course I took at USC, taught by rockstar professor Dr. Drew Casper. I thought, “If only I knew how to structure my course the way Casper structured his.”

That’s where Course Hero came in.

I stumbled upon CourseHero.com in a desperate search for inspiration, but I was immediately impressed by the massive amount of resources. I combed through the library and was overjoyed to discover Dr. Casper’s syllabus—the very same one from the class I loved all those years ago. Even better, I uncovered countless related resources from other institutions that would ultimately help diversify my approach. Course Hero provided a window into successful classrooms around the country, plus tools I needed to begin planning my courses.

With my anxiety (somewhat) mitigated, I stepped into class that first semester to begin my life’s greatest adventure. I fell in love with teaching immediately. From the moment my students first entered the classroom as I had Boyz II Men blaring on the speakers, through lessons on analyzing Facebook trolls and critiquing Shaquille O’Neal’s acting career, all the way up until the final end-of-semester outing to my favorite bookstore, I loved every second.

The response was resounding, and my classes grew until they consistently exceeded the administration’s typical roster cap. I became obsessive about teaching, always trying to develop a new lesson or assignment or approach that would help my students understand why stories matter. But most of all, I sought to empower them with the confidence that their own stories matter and, therefore, they should live a life worthy of storytelling.

Along the way, Course Hero proved an invaluable asset for developing future classes, spicing up my lesson plans, and helping me to adapt my Introduction to Film course to be taught online. Course Hero equipped me with the resources I needed in order to devote my time to what truly mattered: investing in my students.

So when the opportunity came to transition into the role of Educator Community Manager, I didn’t hesitate. I joined a team of impassioned former educators with the goal of supporting and empowering teachers around the country to change lives. I’m delighted to be part of a company that is on the cutting edge of education innovation. However, what excites me most when I arrive at the office every morning is that I get to participate in a culture that celebrates learning, values student success, and recognizes wonderful educators.

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Course Hero is an online learning platform where you can access course-specific study resources contributed by a community of students and educators.