Monday, June 15, 2015

Why I Became a RD and College Professor

Being A College Professor
Since my last post about being a college professor, many of you have asked questions about how to become a collegiate professors, what does it look like be an online professor, and how do I come up with coursework. These were the same questions that I had when I started teaching. So, I'll address these topic in a few different posts. So, stay tuned.

I have always loved teaching. Most of the people in my family are teachers. I enjoyed school  and wanted to be an elementary or science teacher for most of my life. This was until my 12th grade English teacher (Hey Mrs. Malone!) had us do a project to prep us for college. She had us compare at least 2 professions. We had to look at the schooling required, collegiate coursework, areas of employment, rate of growth of the profession, and of course salary. While most of these things were comparable for teachers and dietitians, I like the idea of more 1:1 teaching, the variety of RD (registered dietitian) workplaces, and the flexibility of being a RD (read part-time, PRN, or as-needed employment).

I also knew I wanted to teach college eventually. But, I wanted to have a few years of clinical practice under my belt before teaching. Practicing as a RD before becoming a teacher was also encouraged by many of my mentors. 

Also, one of my favorite undergraduate teachers, Brandi Milioto, took this path. Brandi practiced as a RD before teaching college courses. I really enjoyed her classes because she is a fantastic teacher, great mentor, and she had real-life examples to add to the textbook information. I remember always being engaged in her classes and her real-life medical nutrition therapy (MNT) examples added so much to the lectures. (Don't worry; no HIPPA-protected information was shared.)

I have the pleasure of teaching a Lifecycle Nutrition class next Fall and Spring for undergraduate dietetics and nutrition students. I am so excited for this opportunity! It is the only course that includes pediatric nutrition. Since I also practice as a pediatric RD and have my CSP (Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition), I am so excited to share what I've learned about pediatric nutrition. So, wish me luck as I work to finish reading 19 chapters of Lifecycle Nutrition. 

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