About

Welcome to my Blog about Adult Education. I like this layout because it captures my love of photography and the sun at the golden hour. Timing is so critical in photography and this is true of learning as well. My friend who is one of the best photographers I have ever met said that to him, “Photography is capturing light in  a dark container and getting paid to do it”. I am still looking for “my” quote about learning to make my own. I do like the following quotes:

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William Arthur Ward

I always want to inspire my students.

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Albert Einstein

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
Malala Yousafzai

She inspires me – she is so brave and she is old beyond her years.

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
Aristotle

I like to learn and understand and run this like the family business that it is.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
Phil Collins

I love to learn – who knew Phil Collins said something this profound! I learned the other day why they six flags over Texas. The name “Six Flags Over Texas” refers to the flags of the six different nations that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America.[2]No wonder they are Texans first. Learning is fun. Source – Wikipedia – Click Here For More

I love photography and take thousands of pictures. This is one of my favourites. I love the picture of the Blue Canoes I took in Banff in May 2008 when I went for a run in the snow in the early morning. I always loved this picture and today I gravitated to adding it to my Blog. I started to think about why?.

These canoes – they were so beautiful but useless without people who want to learn how to canoe and a guide to help them. The beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the Elbow river in Banff awaits. As it stands they are just pieces of fiberglass and nothing but beautiful.

I like my role as an educator as a guide, mentor and a learning enthusiast.

My Background

I have lived and travelled all over the world and I am a life long learner. I have a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge in Agribusiness and I have an MBA from Athabasca in Marketing and IT which I did online as I was travelling so much at the time for TELUS and found it so convenient. It fit well into my lifestyle, I thoroughly enjoyed it and won a scholarship while I was completing it. I was the Graduate Student representative on the Strategic Planning Committee at one point and it is amazing to see their growth since they pioneered an online MBA in Canada. I graduated 14 years ago from the program but have very fond memories of the learning experience.

I am an accomplished business development leader with over 25 years of industry experience in a wide range of sectors. I have strategic development expertise, including an MBA research concentration in venture capitalization and new venture growth strategies. I have worked in a series of technology start-ups, including university IT spin offs and Alberta-based technology driven companies with market tracks in a sectors including: beverage, food, consumer packaged goods, education, oil and gas, agriculture, information technology, and manufacturing. I have worked for five start ups and I have had a few shoulda, woulda, coulda moments, looking back. Ouch!

I have now, after teaching part-time since 2003 for the University of Alberta, Athabasca University, NAIT and TRU found myself teaching full time.

I spent time teaching in India with TRU and I have now spent over 6 years in the Middle East teaching. First in UAE – Abu Dhabi where I taught everything from Law to Strategy and Marketing to Project Management etc.. I now teach Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Project Management and several other courses at the College of the North Atlantic (CNAQ) in Doha, Qatar where I have resided since 2014. My students are 70% Qatari, Male and Female and the balance are from over 30 countries. It makes for a very interesting classroom dynamic.

I am now learning to be a better teacher by taking this course and program with several of my colleagues from CNAQ to improve my skills in the classroom. I look forward to learning with you. Learn on !

My Learning and Teaching Philosophy

I love to learn and consider myself a lifelong learner. As a lover of learning myself, it is exciting to be a part of helping and facilitating that learning process for others. I teach business at College of the North Atlantic Qatar and have done so for the last 4 years. Specifically, the courses I teach currently include: marketing, retailing, entrepreneurship, sales and project management. In the Business Department we have a lot of content to discuss – (push through?) and prepare our students for assessments, but I try to make the journey as fun as I can.

In term of innovation and new ideas I like to change it up and try new things in the classroom and I am delighted to be taking this program as I am learning so much about learning, about what I do as a teacher and about my teaching style. Most importantly it makes me think about how I can improve. As a friend of mine said “you must treat the profession like your own business”. I feel very successful by taking that philosophy to heart.

I spent over 25 years in a variety of exciting and fast paced industries such as technology, telecommunications and consumer packages goods like food and beverage. I worked for some huge companies and some tiny companies and I was involved in 5 startups. I find myself in the classroom, full time for the last five years, teaching college/university level business in 4 different countries. I have lots of real life material and I like to use cases and field trips as part of the learning as often as I can.

My approach to the new term is always preparation. Which classroom? What does it look like? Did I manage to get a computer lab?. Lighting, technology, projector, smart board, Ketab, LanSchool. – arrangement of chairs and desks etc. I always use D2L and have used Moodle, Web CT and Blackboard – I am trying incorporate new technology as often as I can like Webify and Padlet and we are lucky at CNAQ as we have a teaching and learning centre that encourages, helps us to move forward with technology, teaching techniques etc. I have taken every course I can with them including the Instructional Skills Workshop where faculty have to prepare 3 lectures for the group and then face the jury for feedback. It was amazing and I learned a lot.

When it comes to the first day of instruction it is so very important although it often takes a week for the class to settle down with late arrivers etc. I try to make the students comfortable to ask questions from the first day. Teaching in the multicultural environment of Qatar with students from over 31 countries, and Qatari nationals who are in the classroom for the first time ever with the “fairer sex” (male and female learners are segregated excepted at our institution – usually have to wait until grad school to be in the same room), creates some interesting dynamics. It is important to make them feel comfortable because it not the environment they are used to and this is especially noticeable in first year classes. I like to start the week with some icebreakers such as “All About You” and “Expectations”. “All About You” is some information about them that I keep to myself. I ask them to work together to discuss my “Expectations” of them and what they expect from me. The information is very interesting and I am looking at putting it all together to see if I can find some trends amongst the data.

I like to spend time going through my Course Outline with a discussion of the Assessments, Learning Objectives, Timings of Assessments, Office hours, Contact information (these days I always hand out my mobile number but they mainly text me in this part of the world) and also the how and why of what we will be covering in the course. (Why do we need to learn this?). I have written many Course Outlines and several courses and I just completed rewriting my Project Management course. I continue with my own personal self-development to improve myself and the product that I provide to my customers which is my knowledge, experience and teaching methodology to make the material, interesting, understandable and help to commit the knowledge to long term memory in a safe and fun environment of respect.

I am happy to share the experience I have from industry and I do tell some stories, as well as pass on the knowledge given to me by my clients, colleagues, and all the others who teach me.

I like stories, and teaching is the best way to tell them – and to constantly improve the telling.

Cicero said: “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”  I try, daily, to upset authority, including my own and make the classroom a fun place of learning, with a positive vibe and some humor thrown in for good measure.

My name is Peter and I love to teach.

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