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Josh Gardner

  • Program: Adult Education in the Continuing Education Division

    Education/Industry Certifications: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Trinity University (1992); Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law (1999); some post-graduate education work at Doane and UNL; State of Nebraska Language Arts teaching certification 7-12.

    Has Taught at SCC Since: Off and on as an adjunct since the mid-1990s; in current faculty role since 2015.

    Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: I taught ESL at various businesses in Moscow, Russia, such as Philip Morris and Ipsos, and also at Kursy Mid Language School there. Additionally, I worked at Learning Rx cognitive skill training center and Nebraska Legal Services.

    Describe your teaching philosophy.

    My teaching philosophy is to teach the person and not the material. Both sides, however, must be in play, for without opposition there is no existence. There is no teacher without a student, and students have no classes without there being content. Like yin and yang or teaching and learning, opposite sides form a compound in one. For example, learning has a cognitive and an emotional side. Mastery of content or performance of a skill work on a conscious and unconscious level. Thinking should be sometimes fast and sometimes slow. In my ESL classes, there is a time for meticulous examination with strict adherence to rules and also a time to forget all that and just go with the flow. (The original Star Wars movies got a lot right: embed skill via the brute work of mindful repetition, then forget about it and “flow on instinct.”)

    Why did you decide to teach at a community college?

    I wanted to teach at SCC because of the value it offers to the Lincoln community and because of the excellent people working there.

    What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?

    Students can expect me to take an interest in them personally, to identify with them the ways they learn best, to prepare them for the challenge which lies ahead, and to stay with them until the job is finished.

    What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?

    My experience living in Russia for three years and learning the language there greatly informs my teaching of English. Any experience as a learner enhances teaching acumen.

    What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?

    Know that with consistent and attentive work they will accomplish a goal which will greatly benefit their lives.

    What do you enjoy most about working with students?

    I enjoy getting to know each student’s unique personality and to see their growth and development in the process of teaching and learning.

    What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

    Sharing in student success, being part of a great team, and transcending the mundanity of the work-world lunch hour to enter a realm of refinement and flavor at Course (restaurant)!

    What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?

    My proudest moments are when students realize that they can accomplish their goals and start to direct their own learning.

    What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

    I like to play basketball, make music, read, write, and spend time with family and friends.

    What would students be surprised to know about you?

    I’m a clown college dropout.

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