Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Know Your Profs: Camosun’s Geneviève Beninger on dramatic Jeopardy, losing her voice, and tending chickens

January 8, 2018 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series of profiles on the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions in an attempt to get to know them a little better.

Do you have an instructor that you want to see interviewed in the paper? Maybe you want to know more about one of your teachers, but you’re too busy, or shy, to ask? Email editor@nexusnewspaper.com and we’ll add your instructor to our list of Camosun teachers to interrogate.

This issue we talked to Camosun Applied Business Technology instructor Geneviève Beninger about reversing meals, improving her teaching, and exploring with Bernese mountain dogs.

1. What do you teach and how long have you been at Camosun?

I teach in the School of Business and just finished my first term as continuing faculty. I was also a student at Camosun… 30 years ago!

Camosun Applied Business Technology instructor Geneviève Beninger (photo provided).

2. What do you personally get out of teaching?

I enjoy many things about teaching, but the best gift is to see my students go beyond what they initially thought they were capable of. Teaching also provides me with a constant source of puzzles to solve, not the least of which is how to keep improving my own teaching.

3. What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

I wish they knew how important it is to me that they succeed, not simply academically but in broader terms. It’s about more than just the grades to me.

4. What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

I am terrible, terrible, terrible at remembering names, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know who you are.

5. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

The most dramatic game of classroom Jeopardy ever!

6. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you as a teacher here?

In the middle of class, while getting over the flu, I completely lost my voice and had to improvise.

7. What do you see in the future of post-secondary education?

In my doctoral research I’ve seen some good developments in distance education and online learning for post-secondary. Online courses can have many benefits to both the institution and the students, but my concern is that online learning also has many challenges—such as technological barriers, feelings of isolation, and lack of teaching presence—for students that must be recognized and addressed in order for true benefits to be realized. This means investing time and expertise in how to develop effective online course materials and how to teach in that environment, which is quite different from face to face. Online learning is a growing field and I’m excited to see what we can do with it here at Camosun.

8. What do you do to relax on the weekends?

When I do get time to relax, I spend it tending chickens, exploring Metchosin with my Bernese mountain dogs and a good friend, finding inspiration for my paintings, and learning new songs on my guitar.

9. What is your favourite meal?

Breakfast for supper and pizza for breakfast.

10. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Students who expect grades for work they haven’t even attempted. Don’t be that student.

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