Monday, May 7, 2012

Five years at GNTC

Last week marked my fifth year as an instructor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rock Spring Georgia. The time has been marked by a lot of good things and also by a couple not so good events. Overall it has really been a good five years. In 2007 I was hired as a database specialist instructor at Northwestern Technical College. Since that time a number of changes occurred in my job title and the name of the college. The first fall I was teaching 2 hours a day at Chattooga County High School in Summerville. I taught A+ preparation to a group of high school students that year. During that year my job on campus evolved from database instructor to networking instructor when the adjunct Cisco instructor ceased teaching. Since I was already an approved/certified Cisco instructor I could teach the classes with no additional training needed. I also picked up the Windows networking classes partly as part of database and then as the networking program. I initially taught traditional in-person classes and now have evolved to where most of my classes are on-line and rest are hybrid. In 2009 the college merged with Coosa Valley Technical College and became Georgia Northwestern Technical College. After being hired as database instructor I was chosen at the state level to head the database curriculum committee in the state teachers organization which maintains the curriculum standards. When I moved to networking the instructors from the state chose me to head the networking curriculum and I still hold that chairman ship (the joke at the state meeting in February was the only way I can quit as chair is to either retire or die). Since I have been at GNTC I have made a number of friends on the faculty and with students and former students. I have participated in several activities at the college including being on the faculty volleyball team my first year (we will not discuss our success, but lets leave at we finally won a game in our last match and had a perfect record in matches). I also took a blacksmithing class at GNTC which was real interesting learning. When i started at NTC we were using Blackboard as our on-line CMS. Then abruptly one July we switched to Angel where we are now, but expecting change in the future. I served as a trainer for Blackboard and Angel for a while as I had administered Blackboard at HGTC. I still get faculty questions on how to do stuff in Angel. I have added lots of videos and audio lectures to my on-line/hybrid classes as I have learned a pocket recorder really works well for doing audio recordings of my lectures and since it is digital it is simple to transfer to the PC, edit and upload the lectures so on-line students benefit and hybrid can listen again if they want. I have received additional certifications since being at GNTC including MCT, MTA, Adobe Photoshop, Critical Thinking and just a few weeks ago five certifications from BrainBench. We had a good snow winter 2011 that closed the college a week but the other years not much snow and this year never saw any. I lived thru the tornadoes a year ago that devastated much of the area, but stayed in air when went over my apartment. Two years ago I saw the major flooding we had as I had to drive thru water about a foot deep top get back that Sunday night. This year and next year I am serving as chair of the library advisory board, and had not served on a library advisory board before. I enjoy the scenery and the weather and the people in the area and have become involved in First Baptist of LaFayette last year and enjoy the Wednesday night programs including Bible study and dinner. I was in their Run for God program last year. I am active in the Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis serving on the board of Directors and as webmaster. Although the club meets in Georgia it is in the Kentucky-Tennessee District and for the past two years i have served as editor of the district newsletter, K-T Notes, after serving about five years as technology chair/webmaster for the Georgia Kiwanis district. My first teaching job in Georgia was in Brunswick (southeast) and it looks like i will finish my career at the opposite corner of Georgia in the northwest Dwight

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