Key Takeaways:

Wade loves learner interaction in GetSetUp classes, "Interacting with the people is the part I like best because I can see they are getting something out of it. They are getting help learning skills that make their life easier . . . it gives a new community."

Wade and his wife at the beach.

Wade has bounced all over the US from Tennessee to Mississippi using his vast knowledge of computer systems, psychology, business, and teaching to make an impact. He decided to shift gears from working in healthcare information systems and focus on teaching at a local college. Adjunct professors like Wade though usually aren’t offered summer courses to teach, so he was looking for something to fill the time during the three months of summer. He started out as a research assistant, but the work was totally by himself and digital. There was never anyone to talk to except through Slack and email. Then he saw that GetSetUp was hiring Guides.

“I thought this looks better. It is teaching and I like that. Plus it sounded fun.”

He applied to be a Guide and came onboard as one of GetSetUp’s initial Guides. Right from the start, he created his own teaching style and ambiance in the virtual session.

“I like to have it casual where people feel comfortable to ask and answer questions. I want to push people to ask questions. So I probe a lot and try to get them to ask questions. I think that is more important instead of just going through my agenda. My classes, I try to organize so people ask questions instead of just being given facts to remember.”

Plus Wade enjoys adding a bit of humor to the class to make it fun. He firmly believes the classes should be enjoyable not just informative.

“I teach mostly tech classes, so that is one thing that my repeaters have in common - they like tech. Even to the extent that people have taken classes when they have no interest in the topic but like to learn. For example, some people came to my build your website class and I heard them talking before class to each other. One said, ‘I don't want to build a website. I just want to see how it works.’ My learners want to know how things work and just want to understand. They are curious to learn and have a learning experience with interaction.”

Wade is passionate about technology and learning about technology like many of his learners. Often both Wade and his learners are learning technology solely for curiosity and the sake of understanding the latest tech.

“I get to learn in classes all the time. I love when participants ask questions because then I learn too. I try to look up the answer after class and send in the follow-up email to everyone who was in the class. I really like to keep learning, and a lot of questions learners ask I never would have thought of anyways! So, I get to learn from them.”

Wade says this shared learning experience is one of his favorite aspects of GetSetUp. Different from the classes he teaches at college, where students are required to take the course,

“GetSetUp learners show up for some reason either to learn something or for the social aspect. So, they are engaged.”

Engagement makes all the difference

Engaged learners make all the difference for someone who is leading a class. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in Wade’s college classes and part of the reason that he has opted to drop them after this semester and work full time with GetSetUp as a Guide. Learners asking engaging and insightful questions is not the only advantage of GetSetUp learners.

“I like if someone asks a question, I answer, and then someone else says, ‘I had something similar experience’ and shares their stories. That is great because other learners add experiences and learning opportunities. And we really are a community, if you have a relevant experience tell other people!”

Wade says it is hard to pick his favorite class because they are all so different. He truly enjoys any class where learners come and engage in the class participating in the community, asking questions, and learning. In some classes people come because they are curious to learn more and in others like Stress Management Techniques people come to try and help him/herself or someone else.

If he had to pick a favorite class though he would probably pick his Gmail - Useful Things You May Not Know class because it's the one he has taught the most and people tend to ask a lot of questions in it. GetSetUp classes are just different from other classes.

“It's the interaction with the learners which is why I like it better than anything else I've done in a long time. I could do a Youtube video and post but then I don't get the feedback. I don’t get to see the faces and see people smile as they say ‘Oh, I get it!’ Interacting with the people is the part I like best because I can see they are getting something out of it. They are getting help learning skills that make their life easier, but it helps them replace the interaction with people they had pre-covid too. It gives a new community. People start talking to each other before class especially if they have seen each other before in other classes. I really see that community starting to form.”

Wade hosted the first Get to Know Your Guide social hour.

Where he got more personal with learners sharing stories from his life like how he’s been in technology when computers started in 1976 learning programming like COBOL and Fortran. He talked about his nomad life moving across the US and the two loves of his life, his wife Michelle, and their dog Elfa.

To learn more about where he’s thinking to head next, why he considers himself an old hippy, his guitar playing years, and his passion for activities like Harley’s, sailing, and skiing you will have to attend the next time he hosts Get to Know Your Guide. Our next social hour will feature another one of our amazing GetSetUp Guides, Deb! Come find out a little bit more about the Guides leading your classes in these fun social hours!

May 17, 2022

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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