This blog has been re-published with the permission of Trina Hoefling and The Smart Workplace.
In 4th grade I was partnered with Steve to be his coach. He was a cool kid getting poor grades. I was a quiet girl who got A’s. I can’t remember if his grades got better, but I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up – a teacher. I remember lining up my stuffed animals in rows on my bed, teaching what I studied in school.
I’m often teaching, whether I travel to the student, from a virtual classroom, or in a coaching conversation. Recently a grade school classmate asked me why I loved teaching and training so much. Another classmate answered for me so simply –
“Trina is driven to help people get to their goals. Teaching is the main way she does that.”
She was right; teaching people what they need to meet their goals IS what I do.
I was a high school teacher in the early 80’s before computers and copy machines. My first teaching clothes were polyester double knit, that enduring fabric that absorbs chalk, mimeograph ink, and never ever wrinkled. I was a fashion icon with a mullet…
I’ve been a corporate trainer and coach for over three decades. My clothing choices improved and I was an early adopter of laptops. I’ve logged many frequent flyer miles getting to where my learners were. I started to burn out in the mid-90’s though I still loved my work. The travel was extreme. It wasn’t great for the clients either.
Learner follow-up was limited to one-off courses and little follow-up. Something had to change, so I became an advocate and early adopter of online learning. All of us then were learning as we went.
Soon I was training trainers at international online learning conferences, still logging frequent flyer miles but less often.
Today I’m an online educator, never far from my MacPro. I teach professionals already established who are improving themselves and their careers. I also teach one-on-one through mentoring and coaching – mostly by telephone. I am a Master Teacher in two graduate programs for the University of Denver, and co-founding faculty at Virtual Workplace University, an online learning destination for today’s professional.
I’m a learner, too. I seek out ways to engage with my peers, tapping wisdom and offering some. I live with a learning mindset. My profession helps me be passionate all the time, without effort and usually without fail.
I’m no longer burned out. When I log frequent flyer miles now, it’s a treat to physically be with fellow learners.
I lucked into a career in 4th grade, thanks to Steve, my first teaching assignment. How I teach and learn has changed, but my passion as a teacher hasn’t.
What we do matters.
Join Trina as she presents at EdVET 2017 on April 28th. Click here for more information.