Aleasha Hintz — Staff Writer
Lisa Mouw has recently joined the Dordt University faculty as a professor of education. Mouw has known she wanted to be a teacher since her seventh-grade year, and eventually s pent her undergrad years at Dordt, taking the same classes she now teaches. Her experience at Dordt shaped how she wanted to teach in the future.
In Education 101, Mouw recalled developing her philosophy for education. From the beginning, she knew she wanted to teach from a Christian perspective.
Mouw has graduated from Dordt three times and has experience in everything from elementary education to work in administration, as well as teaching in both public and private schools. She taught fourth and sixth grade and was the administrator at Sioux Center Christian School, a local kindergarten through eighth grade institution. However, she always had a certain goal in mind.
“I always had kind of in the back of my head: ‘Someday, I’d like to teach at Dordt.’” Mouw said. “I’m like, ‘It’s happening guys! It’s happening! I get to do this!’”
Before she knew about the opening, Mouw had been sensing a need for something different. A colleague let her know about an open position at Dordt and within a couple of weeks Mouw submitted an application. She felt she was being led to work at Dordt.
After a rigorous interview process, Dordt offered Mouw the position and she accepted.
“I have just felt completely supported and welcomed in from day one,” Mouw said.
Mouw said she liked different things about every grade she taught, but undergrad students have been fun because of one specific factor: they have chosen to be here.
Mouw is teaching three classes: Introduction to Education, Educational Psychology, and Kingdom, Identity, and Calling. Each class presents unique challenges.
Education 101 is co-taught, meaning there are two teachers for one class. Mouw’s partner is David Mulder. She also co-taught with Mulder at Sioux Center Christian School. Because of the co-teaching setup, they can fill in the gaps for each other as they teach.
Mouw teaches her other two classes on her own.
“I feel a little like a camp counselor and a teacher,” Mouw said about teaching CORE 100.
But Mouw’s passion is for educational psychology. It feeds into her sweet spot for middle school, which is an especially diverse time for student development.
“If you don’t understand the psychology around it, you can’t effectively teach,” Mouw said.
She loves the stage of development they are in and sees the rapid growth and diverse levels of development as an opportunity to flourish. For Mouw, a proper educational philosophy focuses on the whole being of the students.
“I just want them to know that they belong,” Mouw said. “Having interactions with students, you see how they thrive in that kind of environment; when they are seen, valued, and heard as they come into your space, the light just turns on for them…The guard is down, and they are just ready and vulnerable to learn. I think that’s where you experience thriving.”