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Meet Your Instructor
My name is Eileen Buckley. My experience has been varied in types of classes taught and places where they have been taught!
Graduating from California State College in California Pennsylvania in 1967, I started my teaching career in the Pittsburgh suburb of Shaler Township in a fourth grade math, science, and social studies class. I narrowed my focus the next year and taught fifth grade science in Mars Pennsylvania (needless to say, that proved to be an “out of this world” experience). It was FUN!
My husband’s job brought us to Allegan Michigan in 1969 where I taught all subjects to third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students in a two-room school (quick calculation will show 16 preparations PER DAY, just to teach math, reading, English, and social studies or science to the students). It was FUN! The building of an addition in town allowed me to just teach sixth graders in a self-contained class.
After taking a long maternity leave (seven years), I began teaching in the town that my husband’s next job took us … Fairfield Iowa! Fairfield was a wonderful place to raise children and teach. Students were taught respect in their homes and this carried over into the classroom. There I began learning about and teaching about computers. I loved COMPUTERS! This was the location of the first of four computer labs that I would design for a school or government facility. With the lab came new staff users who needed to know to how to use the new computers. It was FUN!
Fall of 1987 found us in Clermont Florida with a new lab to set up and new users to teach. The students were a bit less respectful and did not have the motivation or home support that the students in Iowa had had. It was FUN, but not as much fun as I had had before.
A new job for Hubby in 1988 brought us back to West Michigan, the suburbs of Augusta to be exact. I had the pleasure to begin working with adults, as I could not find a middle-school teaching job. I sold and conducted training for a computer store in Kalamazoo for a year. While selling training to the VA in Battle Creek, I was recruited to become the Training Coordinator for all staff computer training for the facility. It was FUN! I got to set up a new lab, write curriculum, and teach!
For the 6 ˝ years before I came to WMU, I taught at Michigan Career and Technical Institute, a facility that teaches disabled adults any of the 16 available trades and helps them re-enter the job market. That was REALLY FUN! After setting up the new computer lab, I was able to teach students how to use Microsoft Office, Lotus, WordPerfect, Novell Netware, and other software packages, as they became popular. I was able to complete my Certified Netware Instructor certification after taking seven classes and passing seven tests. I can’t say the Novell training was fun.
The MCTI teaching experience was fantastic. I met people who had not worked in years due to a physical disability, emotional problem, or substance abuse difficulties. They came to us ready to learn a trade and go to work. They wanted to know what they had to do to be successful in the world of work. I saw many success stories …men and women finding jobs and keeping jobs because they knew how to do so … now.
I have taught in the CTE department for six years, teaching methods, curriculum development, special pops, computers for teachers, and supervising intern teachers. I thoroughly enjoy teaching every class and going to different schools to help interns and mentors to have a rewarding experience. I have also had the opportunity to help create an entirely new degree … Occupational Studies Education in the General University Studies Program in Continuing Education. This program’s focus is to allow potential Career and Technical Education teachers to get their major and general education classes at the community college and finish the last two years of a teachable minor and teacher preparation classes at WMU. During my last six years, I have had probably the most FUN I’ve had in my entire career!
My teaching philosophy is simple: Allow the student to uncover the potential inside by teaching him/her necessary skills and attitudes and helping with the self-discovery process. I am merely a facilitator; the student is his/her own real teacher.
In my personal life, I have been married to Gary for 37 wonderful years, and have two grown children, Barb who is 33, and Craig who is 32, married to Erin, and expecting our first grandchild in April of 2004!. I enjoy learning, traveling (especially with our C5 Corvette), cooking, boating, white-water rafting, flower gardening, and meeting people. Life is FUN!
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