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Teaching is Leading Students Down the Learning Path

By DCAA Staff Writer

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Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of our series celebrating National Teacher Day.

Rick is one of the newest instructors in the Defense Contract Audit Institute's (DCAI) Leadership Academy where he teaches DISC behavioral styles and soft skills as part of the new hire onboarding curriculum. Rick joined DCAI in July of 2019 and brings extensive teaching experience. Rick, a retired Marine, began teaching while still on active duty at the Marine Corps Career Planner and Recruiting schools. After 23 years of service, he retired and spent the next 15 years instructing with the Marine Corp Security Forces, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). While at FLETC, Rick also worked in the E-learning section bringing new courses on line.

With Rick’s long career in teaching, it’s surprising to learn that he first became interested in teaching to overcome shyness. Now he loves teaching for two reasons, leading students down the learning path and seeing students apply knowledge to real situations. As Rick explained, “I know where they’re going and how they’ll get there – while the students may have only a vague expectation. The moment I can see that proverbial light bulb glowing above a learner’s head – it is an intrinsic reward moment. Instructors caused that moment to happen and take pride in that.”

In his many years in the classroom, Rick says he learns from his students sometimes as much as they learn from him.  He says the best compliments come from those learners who reach out well after completion of training with stories about how they’ve used the knowledge, skills, and abilities they learned in his classes.

Rick continues his professional development and is currently taking courses in project management and is becoming certified in Franklin-Covey time management techniques. He is also developing a new course in business writing, which will benefit all DCAA employees.