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DCE Magazine

Instructor Q&A: Jeanette Jones

Business Programs

Fall 2019

“My teaching style is absolutely student-centered. I do not see myself as an authority figure, but as a guide helping students reach their highest level of achievement.” Jeanette Jones
Instructor

Q. Why did you decide to become an instructor?

A. My favorite college courses always involved instructors that were also professionals working in the “real world.” Their teaching styles were often different, but their goals were the same. They aimed to provide students with lessons that could be taken out of the classroom and immediately applied to other facets of their personal, professional and academic lives. This approach resonated with me. Shortly after earning my MBA and starting my career as a human resources professional, I started teaching evening classes at a local college and have continued teaching for about 15 years now. My educational experience inspired me to give back to college and adult learners in a way that other instructors had educated, guided and mentored me. I hope I am contributing to this academic/ professional circle by inspiring others to do the same.

Q. What's your favorite lesson to teach and why?

A. In my Modern Business Writing course, I review the impact of positive messages in the workplace. Inevitably this lesson and the corresponding assignment and discussion board have students sharing praises that they have received from co-workers, customers, bosses, their children, friends, and more. It's not meant to be a therapy session, but it often results in that with the class indulging in each other's feel good stories and passing along the good vibes. My hope is that the students see that there are times for a professionally crafted thank you letter, but there are even more opportunities for simple notes, handwritten cards or words of gratitude that can make a big impact in the workplace and in life.

Q. What's unique about your teaching style?

A. My teaching style is absolutely student-centered. I do not see myself as an authority figure, but as a guide helping students reach their highest level of achievement. I strive to provide timely and personalized feedback to every student so that they can experience immediate improvement and validation. My courses include a variety of tools to engage all learners such as: readings, videos, current articles, quizzes, writing and interactive discussions. I am highly involved in the discussion boards where I share current and relevant experiences as they relate to the topic. Also, UCI does a great job of providing a mid- and end-of-course evaluation. I absolutely read these and incorporate changes based on student feedback and sometimes this means making small, but meaningful changes mid-course. It may be the business person in me, but the students are the customers and I value their feedback and strive to respond accordingly so that they have the best possible experience in my course.

Q. What do you find most rewarding about being an instructor?

A. I often have students confide in me that writing is not one of their strengths. These same students often send me messages of excitement after experiencing improvement in their writing and reduced anxiety when facing writing projects as a result of the course content. It is equally rewarding to hear from students that were strong writers, but still found new writing tips, tools and techniques for improvement. No matter what level a student is at, I have always found it fulfilling to help everyone reach their goals.