Terry Teeter is a veteran educator with 23 years of experience. Her teaching is marked by passion, applicability, and ongoing learning for herself and her students. “This is what I was meant to do,” Terry says. “I am exactly where I want to be right now!” Certiport sat down with Terry to learn more about her journey in teaching Web Design.
Certiport: Can you tell us how you came to be a teacher?
Terry: I have a bachelor’s degree in Office Administration and Business Education. I have a minor in Business Administration. I also have a paralegal degree. I worked in the legal and hospital administration industries for 10 years.
In 1999, I had a chance to teach Computer Applications and Basic Keyboarding Skills at a middle school and decided to pursue education as a career full-time. I started out teaching in middle school for four years. I then moved to high school where I taught Advanced Computer Applications. Several years later, after the Web Design teacher moved, I had a chance to take over that class and have been teaching that subject for eight years now. It’s a fascinating subject to teach. The industry is growing rapidly, and the programs and tools are always changing. It keeps me on my toes, and I appreciate the challenge.
Certiport: That is a unique background! What surprised you the most when you moved to education from legal and hospital administration?
Terry: The education environment is completely different than other industries. I enjoy the passion that I feel every day. I work next to incredible educators. I can confidently say that 99% of the teachers I have ever worked with want to and love to teach. The department I work with now is amazing. It makes coming to work so much easier. I have never regretted my career change. This is what I was meant to do!
Certiport: Can you share some of your proudest moments as a teacher?
Terry: I love seeing my students become successful outside of the classroom. One of my students is now teaching coding at another high school in the district and is doing a fantastic job. I have a previous student who started her own graphic design company and is getting paid for her designs. I also have many other students who started their own businesses online and have created their own websites. I am so proud when I see my students using skills they’ve learned to make a real difference in their lives.
Certiport: Those certainly are great accomplishments! How do you make sure that your students are ready to apply what they learn from you in their lives beyond the classroom?
Terry: I survey the business industry to make sure that I am teaching what is relevant today. As a result, I have never taught the exact same thing from year to year. I have used many of the same programs, but the presentation is always evolving in different ways to accommodate the makeup of students’ needs.
I also make sure to teach skills that are used not only in Web Design but in other fields that they may pursue. Most of my lessons are project-based and hands-on. I find that extremely important. This style of teaching helps students in transferring their knowledge from the classroom to the outside world.
Certiport: That’s incredible. How do you continue to stay close to the industry and industry trends?
Terry: I try to take advantage of all the opportunities that are given to me, especially the ones that are paid. I have attended three Adobe MAX Conferences with fellow teachers. Those were great learning experiences. I also have attended boot camps for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. I do a lot of self-teaching as well. Google puts together many resources for educators to do use as Adobe.
Certiport: What advice would you give to fellow Web Design teachers?
Terry: You need to be willing to put in the time to learn new and updated software. It can sometimes feel overwhelming. There is no downtime in teaching Web Design if you want to be a good teacher. You need to try a variety of programs and use the ones that are the best fit for your students. As a teacher, learning is never over.
Interested in learning more about teaching Web Design? Get practical advice here.