As an educator, I am a facilitator of learning. My role is to design well-structured learning experiences for students to facilitate their transition to becoming an occupational therapist. I do not work alone, I am part of a team, so an important part of my role is to collaborate with my colleagues, so that we can complement each others’ teaching and learning goals and strategies.
Learning is a two-way process, therefore I ask students to take active and deliberate involvement in their own learning. Every student comes with knowledge and experience and prior learning. Therefore an important part of my role is to work with others to design and develop ways for learners to access information, translate it into their own context, add it to what they already know and then act upon it; thus transforming information to knowledge for practice.
As an educator, I am also a learner. I like to be confident that my students’ are learning current best-practice knowledge and skills; therefore I strive to advance my knowledge of my field through self-directed learning activities and research. I also expand my knowledge beyond occupational therapy to facilitate the links between occupational therapy and other professions.
As an educator, I am also a researcher. I research my areas of interest in occupational therapy to contribute new knowledge to my profession. I also research teaching and learning practices to expand my approaches as an educator. By researching what I teach and how I teach it I endeavour to convey a genuine excitement about the topic linking research to my teaching approaches. I also conduct research with colleagues in the community to ensure that relevant research is being conducted to enhance practice.
As an educator, I am also a networker. I like to link with community agencies within the broader community in which I live, and link with them for teaching and research. I have developed excellent connections with my local and global professional community through personal networks and through the online world.
My Teaching Experience
I have worked at three Universities as an occupational therapy educator. Firstly at Deakin University in Australia from February 2003 – October 2007, then at the University of Alberta from October 2007 until 2012, and now work at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. The links to each of these Universities (here in the e-portfolio) take you to more information about my teaching experiences at each University.