Erik Kaarla is an instructor specializing in writing, research, business and music.
I am an educator and a father interested as anyone can be in finding out what it is that makes life worth living; we all want so much, yet life is full of impermanence and fragmentation; perhaps a belief in the continuing education of ourselves and future generations can provide us with a temporary answer that is bright and true.
To this end I am an adjunct English instructor at Champlain College, Saint Michael's College and at Community College of Vermont; I also enjoy writing myself and have written articles for such Massachusetts-based publications as the Southcoast Insider and Arts Plus of Cape Cod. In addition, I have performed writing and editing work for the Gale Group out of Michigan. I have received my Vermont State Licensure in the instruction of high school English from the University of Vermont; I also completed the MEd in Curriculum Development. I remain passionate about teaching, my wife Deborah, my children, Buddhist ideas, animal rights and species empathy, and music. Oh yeah, I also play a little tennis.
My personal belief is that the classroom can and should be a forum for free thinking and intellectual inquiry. Within its "four walls" exists the opportunity for students and instructor to weigh in on all ideas and methodologies. The instructor brings in academically accepted models and the students should challenge these models in order to see if they hold water; the competent instructor welcomes this process. It is within this learning dynamic that magnificent events can occur. The wisdom of the academe is tested in this way and the instructor proves his or her mettle by leading the class through a mutually respectful process of inquiry.
It is the instructor’s role to facilitate the creation of the proper atmosphere in the classroom through offering powerful and honest guidance. The materials that an instructor uses should be of great quality and the result of careful forethought. Through using only the best support materials does an instructor do the students justice.
A classroom should be a safe and focused environment for all its members. There should be a time and place for silence and for euphoric moments alike.
I am a great advocate of modeling – giving the students a sense of the form of things allows them to understand what may be considered "classic" or an archetype. From there they are able to develop further towards the creation of something completely original. Reaching all the students equally may not always be possible, yet it must be attempted every time when “having class.”