Growing up my dad would always reference my Grandpa in his saying of: “You can’t take off what you don’t have.” What he really meant was… always be prepared (with layers of clothing). Yep. On a hot summer day, take one look in my car, and you will see that jacket.
I wanted to remind the world, or at least my community, when it would be necessary to bring along that jacket. On job shadowing days, you’d find me at the local television station shadowing the local meteorologist (a.k.a. weather girl). Essentially, I wanted to be a great resource to enable all viewers to live each day with that warm and snuggly feeling.
When I was fourteen, I lost the snuggly feeling; confined to wearing a body brace in a hospital bed for 3 months. The hard metal around my body reminded me that, while you can’t prevent a shivery day, there are solutions to get that warmth back. Queue in the world of online learning.
As a sophomore in high school, being subjected to isolation in the world of home hospital and packet work felt like torture. Starving for engaging content, a community to be apart of, and credits to continue along my journey were all I could dream of.
Virtual high schools did not exist. My thoughtful, loving, and creative school counselor brought me new hope for my future when she provided me with the knowledge of attending community college classes online while enrolled at the high school to count towards both high school and college.
My wheels were in motion. Could it be? Were my dreams answered? Almost. Two out of three ain’t bad. Engaging content? No. Community to be apart of? Yes. Credits to continue along my journey? Absolutely!
Through perseverance, I developed my own personal project management system; utilizing white boards, calendars, and handheld planners. Continually refining my management system with the introduction of Google Calendar, Evernote, OneNote, SmartSheets, Wrike… You name it! I was the student requesting permission to take 32+ units each Fall and Spring semester and 12+ units in the summers while working several part time jobs.
Determined? Yes!... I would say ALIVE!
P.O.D.’s song “Alive” debuted right around the same time my life was changed forever.
Online learning gave me life… freedom to attend school and be apart of a community by breaking down the barriers I was facing.
From that point on, I had my warm and snuggly feeling back.
I thought to myself, many people may not be as fortunate as me to have had the guidance my school counselor provided me.
Queue advocate for online learning: Tera. Motto: Bringing the snuggly back to all.
I asked myself… How can I make the most impact?
Be a voice. Speak at as many online learning events as possible. Tell teachers they matter. Provide feedback to make their online classes more engaging. Be active! Speak up.
I asked myself… Who will be the voice when I graduate?
I will. I can make an impact and provide hope and warmth to all the students and faculty I touch.
I asked myself… How?
Complete your schooling. Be an educator and advocate for students and online learning.
What did I do?
I used my personal management system to devour 235.57 semester units in record time:
What have I been apart of?
I’ve served in numerous capacities at several face-to-face and online institutions. I’ve served as a:
Why serve in so many capacities?
I’ve spent the vast majority of my life searching for a way to advocate for online learning in a job that reflects who I really am. With my fascination for discovery and data, I study people and how they interact with one another and products. I strive to make a meaningful impact in everyone’s life I touch through creatively finding solutions to their challenges; promoting healthy, happy, and productive environments.
Solutions I’ve implemented utilizing automation and integration have “automagically” enhanced the lives of thousands. I’ve tackled migrations, recruitment, attendance, engagement, grades, documentation, and more!
Empowering students, faculty, and institutions with the knowledge and tools to enhance their online learning environment brings me lasting happiness and fulfillment by making a contribution to something bigger than ourselves.