Teaching Teachers

Teachers talking to each other

Mary Tucker doesn’t remember exactly when her passion for Forsyth Tech was first kindled, but as a one-time teacher of middle school science and the daughter of a mother who taught language, she has always believed in the power of education to change lives. From her first association with Forsyth Tech, she was inspired by how dedicated the college’s instructors were to helping their students learn. To show her support, she started donating to the college, earmarking funds to areas where the need was greatest. Her generosity has helped create a language lab in her mother’s memory and provided support to the welding and interior design programs.

“If I’m shown where a need is, that’s where I go,” she says.

She has also endowed the Montgomery Tucker Faculty Professional Development Fund, which awards grants to faculty for professional development.

Listening to Understand

On an idyllic Indian summer afternoon in October, Mrs. Tucker is sitting in Forsyth Tech’s Board Room on Main Campus with three faculty members. These instructors received $1,000 each from the Montgomery Tucker endowment to participate in innovative professional development programs this past summer. Each expresses gratitude to Mrs. Tucker, assuring her they wouldn’t have been able to attend the trainings were it not for her support. An informal but animated conversation ensues, with the instructors sharing the outcomes of their summer courses. Mrs. Tucker listens intently.

Amy Davis-Moore, program coordinator for Broadcasting & Production Technology, describes the online version of her Introduction to Broadcasting course, which she developed and piloted this fall, in order to expand options to students who are juggling home, school and work schedules.

Science Skills Lab Instructor Tatjana Jovanovic-Grove, originally from Serbia, explains how she enhanced her effectiveness as an online instructor and developed engaging pre-lab activities for students.

Respiratory Therapy clinical education coordinator Cynthia Wiggins says she learned how to incorporate inventive instructional technology and teaching strategies into an online environment in order to redesign a class.

All three demonstrate how they have already put into practice what they learned.

Making a Difference

Mrs. Tucker quietly absorbs the conversation, impressed by what she’s learned from the instructors. As her meeting with the grant recipients winds down, Mrs. Tucker becomes reflective.

“Science and technology are developing so fast, faculty must constantly update their skills,” she observes after hearing firsthand how her support is making a difference.

“This conversation has been so interesting. It reinforces the good feelings I’ve always had about the school. I am more enthusiastic than ever about Forsyth Tech.”

On this October day, Mrs. Tucker is clearly gratified to see how she is helping Forsyth Tech faculty incorporate leading-edge teaching practices into their courses in order to improve student learning and success.