Introduction and Rationale

Nelia A. Connors (2000) states, “The best teacher is the one who never forgets what it is like to be a student” (p. 11).   I agree with Connors, but would like to modify her statement to “The best teacher is the one who never forgets what it is like to be a learner.  The term “student” implies that one is learning in classroom with a group of peers and a teacher.  Whereas the term “learner” implies one is gaining knowledge, understanding, or skill either through study, instruction, or experience.   I have spent my entire life as a learner.  This is an autobiography of my experiences as a learner. It is, in essence, a critical incident report of my formal education, both in brick and mortar and online classrooms, as well as my learning from life.  As I prepare to embark on a new career as a facilitator in e-learning environments, it is important that I reflect on what I know, how I acquired this knowledge, and what I have yet to learn.  I must evaluate my life experiences in terms of how these experiences relate to my past and future teaching practices.  I must also consider my mentors, the people who have had the greatest impact on my life and have helped me develop a sense of direction.  I must identify the characteristics of my mentors and examine my practices for congruence with these characteristics so that I can serve as a mentor to others.