RateMyProfessors.com, the popular rating website for college-level professors nationwide, ranks more than 2,000 past and present professors at Central Michigan University.
While many instructors receive high marks, Holly Hoffman, Timothy Brannan and Jeanne Chaffin stand above the rest. Ranking 4.9/5, each one has been reviewed more than 40 times – Hoffman receiving more than 100 ratings. Central Michigan Life had the opportunity to speak to these professors to find out what makes them tick.
What made you decide to become a teacher and is that reason still your motivation?
Holly Hoffman: I wanted to impact the future of students and help shape a positive educational experience for them. I am motivated by the energy and commitment of my students. They inspire me daily. I started out as an early childhood teacher, have experience starting new programs, and supporting inclusive environments where the needs of all different learners are addressed. I am able to be in an environment in higher education that includes this same philosophy.
Jeanne Chaffin: I have always wanted to be a teacher. My first love was preschool. When my youngest was leaving to go to college and I was praying for direction on how to fill hours which would no longer be spent sitting on bleachers, I got a call asking me to teach a night class here. I never even dreamed of teaching at this level. I decided to give it a try and found I love teaching college students, too. Eventually, the one class turned into a full-time position and I am enjoying being here very much.
Timothy Brannan: Originally, I wasn’t going to be a teacher. My father was a professor, mother a librarian, aunts and uncles teachers; I wanted to do something different and said I’d never teach or work at CMU. I started out in banking in the training and development field, loved adult learning then began working in higher education, first at MSU and then at Lansing Community College.
I really became interested in distance learning and how we could develop online education to reach learners who couldn’t come to a physical campus. I really enjoy finding an educational need or gap and then creating a solution. I really enjoy interacting with my students online, however I do miss the face-to-face contact.
What do you like most about your job?
HH: I enjoy working with students, the community and my coworkers. No two days are similar – each day is unique, each class, each opportunity, each exchange teaches me something new. I am honored to have this job. My students keep me going and make me laugh. Does it get any better than that?
TB: I enjoy the collegial nature of education, receiving comments back from students about how my teaching has impacted their teaching in their own classrooms and how students continue to ask relevant questions, not only about their chosen field, but about education as a whole. I enjoy it when the light goes off in a student’s mind and they get that it just isn’t about doing their time and earning a degree – it’s about building a solid foundation for their futures.
Life is what you end up making of it.