Kari Dahle-Huff, Assistant Professor, Reading
What is the best part about being an MSU Billings faculty member?
The best part is the people I work with. Hands down. That is from the staff to the faculty to the students I work with. There’s wonderful, caring, relationships that really support a learning environment.
Why did you choose to do what you do? How did you get here?
I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Montana Western, and I got my teaching degree there. And then, I went up to Peace Corps, and after Peace Corps, I came back and I moved to Minnesota, and I got my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Minnesota State University Moorhead , and I worked in the Moorhead Public School there for a while and realized that I wanted to continue my education. So I went to the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and I got my Ph.D. in Critical Literacy English Education. And I came back to Montana to MSUB.
What is the best advice you could give a new professor… new to teaching?
Be patient. You’re not going to know everything on the first day, and that’s okay. Allow yourself time to get comfortable in your role and understand and develop your own pedagogy and your own teaching style. And to learn the institution.
How long does it take to be a great professor?
I’ll let you know when I’m done (laughs). I feel like if you are, then it’s time to retire. I’m still learning, and every day seems to be something new and has an “Aha!” moment.
How do you keep teaching fresh after 3 years? 5 years? 20 years?
That’s the nice thing about the field of education. We’re always self-examining in our practices and how to improve upon them. And that’s how we keep it fresh and the students are always changing, too. So every time I teach a class, I look at what’s being said in the field about best practices for that class because I want my students to go out and meet their needs and their students’ needs.