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LaShaundras Teaching Narrative

Teaching has always been a passion of mine but I didnt start teaching until I became a
parent in 2000. I wanted to homeschool my children. I was a stay at home mom. I
joined Home Instructions for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) to begin
teaching my oldest daughter. I would read stories to her like Wheres Spot?
Is he under the bed? Id ask her as I read the story
Nooooo, she said. She was such a sweet and precious little girl.
Is he in the closet?
We would continue these HIPPY sessions with other books until she entered
Kindergarten. We bonded over these literacy moments, and it would always make my
day. Those moments taught me how to strategize in order to help my daughter learn to
read. I learned more about myself in those moments, so I decided that I would teach
every chance I got.
I began working at the Arkansas Department of Human Services. I started off as a
document examiner and moved my way up to Child Care Licensing Unit secretary. My
supervisor gave me the opportunity to conduct Intent Trainings for daycare owners and
employees. The purpose of the Intent Training was to help them understand the intent
behind each rule. For example, daycares that provided transportation were required to
install an alarm at the back of the van or bus. When the driver turned the vehicle off,
they were required to walk to the back of the van, check each seat to make sure that all
of the children were off the van, and disarm the alarm. The rule was made because a
few children lost their lives because they were left on hot vans and buses during the
summer. I created a Powerpoint presentation, passed out books, and presented the
intent behind each rule. The Intent Training was a hit. When I was promoted to Child
Care Licensing Specialist, I continued to lead the trainings. In 2007, I left the Arkansas
Department of Human Services. I left to be a stay at home mom again. I took a break
from workplace training
In April 2008, I joined Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I had to attend a six week
training session to learn how to process claims. Not only was I paying attention to the
lesson for the day, but I was daydreaming about being a trainer one day. I found myself
helping other students in class after I grasped a concept. After the training sessions, I
began to learn as much as I could about claims processing. I learned Coordination of
Benefits, High Dollar Claims, Blue
, and adjustments to name a few. Each time a new
employee would join the team I was on, I was asked to provide training to them. I found
that I learned the most when I trained.
In April 2010, I applied for a team leader position. I didnt get the position. I asked my
supervisor, Kim, why didnt I get the team leader position? She told me the panel was
not impressed and that I talked more like a trainer. I decided that training would be the
route for me to go.
In early June 2010, a trainer position became available. I applied. I was asked to
develop a presentation on one of the selected topics, complete a writing assignment,
and interview. I chose to present on Coordination of Benefits. I loved COB. Loving COB
made it easy for me to teach it. Additionally, I had trained on COB as a claims specialist
many times. I was dubbed the COB queen.
At the end of June, I got the call.
Hi, This is Traci Croy with Blue Advantage Education and Development. I am calling to
offer you the job. Do you accept?
Yes, I accept!
Okay, your start date will be on July 10th. I will set up a meeting with you and the other
trainer to prepare you for your first day.
I am looking forward to working in the Education and Development department. Thank
you so much.
I was so excited and so glad that they were impressed with me. My manager Julie
came by a few minutes later and said that she was going to miss me and that she knew
that I would do well in my new position.
One of my first assignments in my new position was to read the 4 inches thick manual. I
had to conduct mock training session. Then I had to observe a current trainer in
class. The trainer allowed me to present on various topics at various times in her
class. I was so nervous and was very tongue-tied when I first presented. I heard one
student say, She cannot talk. I decided that I would work on that issue when I stand in
front of a classroom.
I co-taught a class with a very lively trainer named Jaime. I learned how to make
training fun from him because he always had the greatest and brightest ideas for
learning games and activities.
I taught my first class by myself. I had to create a lesson plan that covered the six
weeks of training. I created handouts to help my students understand processes. I
demonstrated how to process various claims. Ever since then, I have conducted
various strength trainings on how to price claims, systems, and process improvements.
While training, I realized that I learned more when I taught. Teaching took me on a
journey of exploration, epiphanies, and empathy. I learned that I loved meeting new
people. I realized that I learned from my students.
In 2012, I started the Professional and Technical Writing program. I knew from the
beginning that I wanted to teach. I wanted to teach as a way to learn more about writing
and to share my knowledge of, successes, and failures with writing.
Through Composition Theory and Practicum, I learned about pedagogies that will assist
me in sharing my knowledge of writing with my students. Ive embraced the critical,
student-centered, democratic, collaborative, genre, new media, online and hybrid, and
process pedagogies. Ive seen these pedagogies demonstrated by professors in
graduate school. In Practicum, my professor used student-centered learning a lot. When
we would ask a question, she answer with a question to get us to thinking. This
encouraged us to learn for ourselves. Ive learned to recognize them through the class
Ive taken such as Practicum and Composition Theory. I immediately recognized
student-centered and collaborative pedagogies in my classes because I use those
pedagogies-techniques when I train. Student centered learning is what makes training
effective. I can see how effective it will be for my writing class. I will approach my
classroom as a workshop where students are responsible for their learning.
Simply put, I love teaching. I love how teaching allows me to learn, grow, and
understand more. Just like with writing, it helps me to learn more about myself and
improve. Teaching allows me to serve my community. In teaching, I am taught. I
wouldnt have it any other way.