Why I teach

Robin Terrell

Medical Assisting Instructor

What inspired you to be a university professor?
I am actually an instructor in the College of Technology. I would have to say that the influence I had from my instructors when I went through the Medical Assisting Program gave me the incentive and enthusiasm to teach the skills of the program.

Why teach in a university setting?
I find working in a university setting is great - I get the opportunity to teach adults who are very excited to begin their educational pursuits and enjoy watching their enthusiasm when they understand the concepts and skills we teach in our program.

If you weren't a university professor what do you think you would be doing?
If I were not working as an instructor at Idaho State University, I would definitely be working in a clinical setting. If I can't work with students and teach them to be medical assistants, I would like to be in the clinical setting helping patients to be more in control of their health.

What has teaching taught you about yourself?
Teaching has taught me that even as an instructor, I am always learning and that is very exciting to me. Whether it is to prepare for a lesson or taking another class for myself, I love the idea that I will always enjoy learning.

What is the most difficult aspect of teaching?
I think that online classes are difficult. They take away the personal aspect where an instructor and student can interact in the learning process. I understand web classes have come a long way, but sometimes concepts get lost in cyberspace, so to speak.

What inspired you to enter higher education?
I came to the College of Technology at a later time in my life and I loved that even as a non-traditional student, I was accepted and could excel. In knowing that all are welcome in higher education regardless, was very inspiring to me because I knew I could accomplish anything, even at my age. I want to continue that same sentiment.

Is there an identifying moment where you knew you had a pronounced positive impact upon a student?
I have just finished my first year as an instructor. Still, as I watched my students walk across the stage in December to receive their diplomas, see the excitement in their eyes, I was touched to know that I was a part of what made that happen for them.

What career/life messages do you try to impart upon your students?
I try to make sure that my students understand that life happens and when they are working with the public, especially in the medical field, that things good and bad happen all the time. Expect the unexpected, understand that people hurt, and above all, their compassion and competency will ensure their patients are well taken care of and their career will be what they have strived for.

What do you want students to take from their ISU educational experience?
I would like them to take away good experiences that show them that learning doesn't stop once they leave ISU, but will continue their entire lives and I would encourage them to be a positive influence on others looking at educational avenues and careers.


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209