From the days of pretending to be teacher to my childhood playmates, to the day I stood before my first class of college students, I always wanted to be a teacher. In the intervening years, observing teachers became a favorite pastime. I enjoyed teachers who were not only smart, but also warm, genuine, and effervescent. My favorite teachers, however, had all the above characteristics plus excellent story telling skills. I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. After earning a BA and then an MFA in Voice and Interpretative Speech, my dream to be a teacher became a reality. For the past 35 years I have taught in the Music and Communication Arts Departments at Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, Wisconsin. Besides teaching classroom communications and music classes, I teach private voice lessons, and direct one main-stage play or musical each school year. We all have stories to tellâ€”personal stories, the stories of others, and stories born in our imagination. Equipping the next generation to unleash their stories in the most communicative way possibleâ€”whether spoken or sungâ€”is what motivates me to enter the classroom or my studio every week. Scholarly research verifies that strong, effective communicators have a definite advantage in any sphere of life. I want my students to have that advantage. Seeing them employ clear thought, creative language, genuine emotion, and heartfelt empathy assures me that the art of skillful face-to-face communication will not be lost in this age of burgeoning technology. In the community of Watertown I am heavily involved with the Euterpe Music Club and the Watertown Area Chamber Orchestra. I am Music Director of Fellowship Baptist Church and the host/producer of a monthly TV show (Carol's Kitchen) at WatertownTVâ€”the local public access station. The 30-minute program has three components: (1) I cook one or two recipes; (2) local musiciansâ€”often students of mineâ€”perform 2-3 selections (and are taste testers); and (3) I read an exciting story I have written. It is an amazing opportunity to model the kind of communication I am hoping to instill in my students.
What Drives You to #AchieveMore?