Continuing Education As Educator

Continuing Education as an Educator

Being a student here at Monmouth, I’ve noticed the handful of faculty members (a general term for those who work for Monmouth in some way, shape, or form) in our classrooms right alongside the everyday students. I got the opportunity to speak to not only some of the faculty member/student duos but some of my peers who have had the experience in a number of their classrooms as well.

Margaret Checton is the Assistant to the University Librarian and doubles as a student on some days as well. Checton is currently enrolled in a Language and Linguistics class, and had a lot to share about her experiences and thoughts on faculty members of any type being a fellow Hawk. “The most important thing I learned from being a student is that we are constantly learning from you, the students, too. The Monmouth classroom has never been a one-way street from my seat.  Every class is an expedition where professors are instructing and students are adding significantly to the destination,” she explained.

Checton continued, “In other words, I am not only learning from the professors, but from the students as well. I have found that our students bring an abundance of many things to the classroom, all of which are essential to effective learning processes.”

It’s true, the Monmouth education field has never been one to discriminate or fail in the teachings of all of life’s treasures, but, we all know that being a student can be difficult at times. The pressure of exams, papers, quizzes and more could make anyone buckle underneath the weight, Checton reveals that to help in being the best student and member of the Monmouth community she could be, she will “take a certain amount of vacation days each semester to study for exams or complete a project-” this being the only stipulation to doubling as a ‘faculty member’ and a student.

While it is completely different from the Hannah Montana kind of lifestyle to the peers who participate in class alongside them, students still seem to have the same positive outlook that these ‘students’ have. Emily Rohlfs, a junior English and secondary education student, had plenty to say about her experiences with ‘faculty members’ in the classroom. “I think that they bring a very fresh perspective to the classroom because they seem to have more life experience.

For example, Marco Cabrera, a general maintenance mechanic for facilities management, shared one class that he and his wife had just welcomed in a new baby daughter to their family. It gives students a way to see how it is acceptable, as well as possible, to have a family and get an education at the same time.

Everyone loved having him in our class because he brought a lot of positive energy into it. I also appreciate having someone’s perspective that is mature and different from the typical ‘college student.’ There did not appear to be any communication barrier between the faculty member and the younger students. If anything, they were more attentive in the class to what they had to say.”

“Monmouth University has given me the opportunity to go back to school while I work. This brings some challenges because I have to perform well in both areas,” admitted Cabrera. “I feel like I get the best of both worlds. I get to interact with students and employees in so many different levels. I always have to use my time wisely to be able to take advantage of the opportunities and to be able to be responsible with my priorities.”

This fresh perspective has been infectious in all of the classes these members of the Monmouth community share. Rohlfs said, “The benefits of furthering your education are numerous. For one, it allows you the opportunity to stay current with what is happening in your field. Things end up changing all the time, especially when it comes to education.

Cabrera added, “[Monmouth] has helped me to be a better person in general. When I moved to the United States when I was 16 years old, I never thought I’d be where I’m today. A lot of that I owe to this beautiful college.”

Cabrera concluded that Monmouth has helped him reach his dreams. “Throughout the years I’ve work for MU, I’ve come across some students that are ready to quit. I’ve tried to motivate them to keep on going and to not give up. It can be done. If I can do it, you can do it too. Let’s finish what we’ve started.”

By having faculty members in our classrooms, we are continuously furthering our education in all aspects. Make sure to be on the lookout for a faculty member in your classes, and take notes, You never know what kinds of words of wisdom they might share.