Ask the Instructor: Gary Savard
This month, we talked to SNHU adjunct faculty member, Gary Savard. In this Q&A, Gary shares tips for students who are uncomfortable with technology, along with advice for older students.
Q. What is your name and where do you work?
A. Gary Savard, SNHU Adjunct Faculty.
Q. What’s your favorite part about being an instructor? How do you spend your time when you aren’t teaching?
A. I enjoy passing my knowledge and experiences to future IT professionals. Engaging with students on a personal level is the most satisfying part of teaching. When I am not teaching, I am still teaching! I teach courses for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation program in Vermont and for Harley Davidson Riding Academy. I also enjoy spending time with my grandson. When he is older, I hope to teach him my woodworking skills.
Q. What is the best way to fit all your schoolwork in when you are a full-time employee with a family? How do you approach time management.
A. I have been teaching in-person and online since 1997, so I have had plenty of time to practice! I tend to work my time in for grading and discussions throughout the week when I have downtime. I have never really been in a crunch by doing this. Also, I allow my students to contact me 7 days a week, via phone. I find that level of personal interaction really helps them to achieve more in my courses and actually makes grading easier because I give so much feedback verbally.
Q. Many students who go back to school later in life tell us they’ve experienced self-doubt and imposter syndrome. What would you tell these students?
A. I have had many students feel that way. I always talk about others who came before them and how they were able to excel and do great things once they graduated. Being a bit older is a real advantage because life experiences are always applicable in course work.
Q. Do you have any tips for students who are going to school online for the first time and aren’t used to using technology to complete their schoolwork?
A. I started teaching online during the bulletin board days, around 1997 and the psychology is the same! There is a feeling of apprehension for students because they are isolated and do not have real-time interaction with faculty. I make it a point to let them know that I am there to help them through the process and to give me a call when they are in doubt. Being proactive with apprehensive students by letting them know that someone has their back and best interest at heart goes a long way. I often Skype or even text with new students as they learn the online process.
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