This is a continuation of our series on educators who work at Turnitin.
We’d like to continue to share with you the educators behind the software at Turnitin, whether it’s Feedback Studio, iThenticate, Authorship Investigate, or Gradescope. Our suite of tools and software cover a lot of pedagogical bases--and so does our team.
Current educators and former educators work in all the various departments at Turnitin, in all our offices all over the world. We’re enthusiastic and passionate about education and educational software, and that passion translates into the solutions that we build for teachers and students.
Here we are.
Before joining Turnitin, I was a teacher trainer for large scale public school quality improvement initiatives, a Middle School IB principal, and the Academic Director of a large university in Mexico. There are many parts of education I loved, but I most loved aligning classroom practice with macro initiatives for quality and equity in education. At Turnitin, both teachers and administrators trust me and seek out my advice because I speak the language of education. I have walked in their shoes and I can provide practical and reliable solutions.
I worked as a Prep (Kindergarten), Year One and Year Two teacher (sometimes all three at once!) for six years in schools across the state of Victoria, Australia. Like so many teachers, I poured my heart and soul into the job for very little reward and eventually burned out. When I decided to leave the profession, I attempted a degree in Landscape Architecture but I wasn't a very good student - I was constantly making suggestions to my lecturers on how to improve their assessments and lesson delivery! This only served to reignite my passion for teaching and I returned to the job for another six years but again, the pressures and stress became too much.
Upon leaving the classroom a second time around, I decided to dedicate my working life to improving the lives of teachers. I worked as a software trainer for an LMS provider for a few years before landing the Professional & Education Services role at Turnitin. Here, I am thrilled to work with teachers to not only show them how to use our software but to help improve both the quality and speed at which they grade, give feedback, and discuss academic integrity with their students. I love hearing the positive feedback from teachers who come into my training sessions thinking they are having yet ANOTHER huge task added to their plate, only to complete the training and realize Turnitin is going to improve their teaching practices, improve student outcomes AND help to tip the work/life balance towards a more balanced position!
While I sure do miss teaching young children, I have found I now get the same joy and buzz from training adults, with the added bonus of fewer runny noses and having to tie someone's shoelaces every five minutes!
I’ve taught students of all ages, from elementary school students at Seoul Daebang Elementary and Backsan Elementary to student teachers in various university settings. As much as I enjoyed being around kids and teaching them English, I wanted to further my learning as a researcher in language learning, so I went to graduate school in English Language Teaching.
As a student, I loved learning and being an educator is a great way to share what I’ve learned with others. My experience as an educator has given me insight as to what pain points teachers and students have. This helps me as a marketer with our marketing messages. And understanding teachers’ needs enables me to come up with best practice suggestions at Turnitin.
I taught French, Spanish and English as a Second Language both in secondary school and as a tutor. I most enjoyed sharing interests with students--and I really enjoyed seeing the “a-ha” on their faces or in their work.
Working in product support means that I’m always working closely with our customers to help identify and fix any issues that they face. I have a huge amount of empathy for educators because I know firsthand the very frustrations instructors feel when circumstances are out of their control. I try to let customers know that I genuinely empathize; often this kind of outreach helps the case to progress quickly because we’re on the same page, trying to find a solution as quickly as possible.
I was a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson University where I taught graduate and undergraduate science content courses to teachers. I left Clemson to become a faculty member in the Entomology Department at the University of Florida teaching a course on how insects can be used to teach the standards. I also worked on creating educational content and communications on invasive species topics.
I used Turnitin in my classes for all my writing assignments. I bring to clients my personal experience in using the tool. I also share stories about how Turnitin helped my students check their work (I always used it for formative feedback) and how the feedback tools helped me provide great feedback in less time. Turnitin is not just for English instructors!
I was primarily a K-12 mathematics teacher, specializing in Honors mathematics for grades 7 - 12 (including AP Calculus). I also worked with K-12 continuous improvement as a part of my school's accreditation team (I was the chair of the team). My specialty was data analysis and assessment.
What I loved most about being an educator was forming relationships with my students. I also took seriously my role as a mathematics teacher, knowing that a successful mathematics education opens doors for students to pursue virtually any career that they choose.
My experience as a 20-year veteran educator allows me to empathize with educators. I know the challenges of the job very well. When I am working with educators, I can speak their language, understand what matters most to them, and tailor the services that I offer specifically to their unique needs.