In recognition of Rena Rockwell, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education for more than 15 years as well as a BA, MAT, and EdS graduate of Webster, receiving her EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration from William Woods University, we have a Q&A with her to share with all of our readers today.
Congratulations to Dr. Rockwell!
What made you choose Webster for your undergraduate education?
I chose Webster University because as a child I remember seeing all of the television advertisements that mentioned the high quality teacher education program, the worldwide and world-class experiences and the personal touch with small classes. All of this was a draw to me at that point in my life.
What brought you back for your subsequent MAT and EdS work?
I kept coming back to Webster University because I had experienced everything I expected before and more. The teachers really kept my interest and hooked me into returning with the high quality full and adjunct professors who had such close ties to school districts in the area that our learning was directly applied to our work environments. And if we wanted the worldwide experiences that aligned with our work we could go on those once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences. The course work, the programs, and the staff were very relevant and the challenges in the course work kept me hooked. In summary, the relationships and the rigor made me want to stay with Webster.
What’s your favorite class to teach?
This is a hard question because I love them all! If I had to choose it would be our EDTC EdS courses because the students in these courses are looking to challenge themselves and take on leadership roles in their learning environments. That program draws educators from all types of learning institutions — not just K-12 settings. This keeps it very interesting each year.
What continues to draw you to the educational field?
The more I teach the more I want to teach and give back to the educational field. I hear every year our students are more challenged than before and as much as the world has changed I think our students face the same issues as they have in the past — it’s just that the problems are more pervasive and touch more students. Teaching with experience helps those teachers without experience teach and approach all students with dignity, respect, and high impact instructional strategies that help them achieve. Seeing new teachers learn and see this type of success makes you want to continue this type of work.
What do you see yourself doing over the course of the next several years?
Over the next couple years I want to explore a full-time teaching career on the university level and now that I have earned my doctorate I hope it opens more doors to help me achieve this goal. I want to continue teaching and giving back as much as possible.
Any fun/interesting facts about you?
As much as I love to teach I also love to garden and enjoy the great outdoors. I have created many perennial and vegetable gardens in the past and currently I am designing a southwest rock and cacti garden. When I am not teaching or gardening I am exploring many of our county, state, or national parks.