User:Amy Jo Garner
|Employer:||Platt College, MidAmerica Christian University, Oklahoma School of Personal Development|
|Occupation:||Writer, Educator, Mentor|
I'm interested in:
- Adult education
- Online education
- Open source initiatives
- Wordpress blogging
My Website, blog and contact particulars
You can follow me at these sites:
Professional Interests My interest in open educational resources stems from my passion for education and, particularly, from my passion for working with a demographic of adult students who generally do not attend traditional 2- or 4-year colleges. I have been working in the vocational education field since 2003 in a variety of roles: instructor, placement director, and, now, director of education. I believe in the value of lifelong learning, and I want to see access to education extended to all who seek it, regardless of location and finances.
Academic Experience As an undergraduate, I majored in English and Theatre. I went straight into graduate school to earn a Master’s in Journalism. My choice in majors has served me well over the years. I have used my writing and communication skills to excel in a variety of industries and positions. One constant in both my academic experience and my work life has been my love of learning and of helping others learn. As a result, in 2008, I earned a Master’s in Religion with a concentration in Pastoral Ministry. I now run a ministry that helps others explore new possibilities in their lives.
All of this background has made me a better instructor in the classroom and a better coach and mentor for my faculty. It has given me the communication skills and the insight to work with diverse groups of people in a wide range of circumstances.
Work/Other Experience I have edited publications for a non-profit, analyzed inventory and budget data on multi-million dollar contracts, sold real estate, and run a small business. I have been able to mix tech, analytical, and people skills with success. When I decided to leave the corporate world in 2002, I wanted to write and teach; I sold real estate to help make those two goals possible. Once I settled into the education field, I never looked back. I know that my talents are best used in situations where I can help students and staff members realize their goals. I bill myself as a writer, educator, and mentor and am focused on readers, students, and seekers.
Personal Qualities When I think about personal qualities that contribute to my success, three phrases come to mind: positive attitude, open-minded, and life-long learner. I am not certain “optimist” is always the right word, but I am a person who believes that a positive attitude can carry me through even some of life’s most difficult situations. I have also found that having a negative attitude consumes more energy and produces fewer results. Positivity rules the day for me.
I consider myself open-minded because I enjoy meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life. I find that this is especially important in the classroom and believe it is counter-productive to make assumptions about a student’s ability to succeed based on how he or she looks or acts when first coming onto our campus. By being open-minded, I can respect students as the person they are at that moment and mentor them to stretch for goals they may think are beyond their reach.
Finally, I am a life-long learner. My mother recently commented that I “never could stop my mind from learning.” I am curious about a wide range of topics and frequently pile up books and magazines on a particular topic so I can learn more (my current backlog of reading is in the field of process theology). This trait has made it possible for me to hold conversations about topics that are outside my concentrated areas of expertise. As a result, this enhances my ability to effectively communicate with students and staff.