Faculty Focus: Dr. Brandon Juarez
Title: Associate Professor, College of Education
Years at GCU: 10
- Associate: Fullerton College (Liberal arts – nominated for college student of the year)
- Undergraduate: GCU (double major: secondary education and physical education – cum laude)
- Graduate: Northern Arizona University (Education Administration – magna cum laude)
- Doctorate: GCU (Higher Education Leadership; dissertation title: Teacher educations transitioning their teaching practices to the face-to-face modality)
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
There are several that come to mind – I’ve been honored to serve in this position! I am proud of the presentations and articles I have written that advance the field of teacher education. With such a high percentage of new teachers who leave the profession within their first five years, I feel called to help break this trend by finding ways to best prepare new teachers for their careers.
I’m also proud of feedback I receive from students for the way I teach my courses. Students’ comments routinely echo the application-based experiences they learn in my courses. I’m proud my students view me as a professor who practices what I preach.
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
Harry and Rosemary Wong, husband and wife authors and education researchers who write great education literation, including “The First Days of School,” illuminated four stages of becoming a master teacher. Phase one is fantasy, phase two is survival, phase three is master and phase four is impact.
Working with pre-service teacher candidates who are all in the fantasy phase of their development, I am passionate about realistically teaching students about the field of education. I am passionate about guiding their passion and desire to become teachers in healthy, realistic and meaningful ways that will serve them (and their future students) for years/decades in the profession.
Finally, I am passionate about helping pre-service teacher educators find their professional voice and demeanor. I get a lot of fulfillment out of coaching and observing my students as they go from college students to pre-service teachers.
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
I really enjoy teaching ELM-250 Classroom Management and Engagement. As a former school leader and instructional coach, I find that these two important classroom constructs are critical to a teacher’s success in a classroom. I enjoy teaching these aspects to my students – future teachers. Specifically, I use simulations, role playing and scenarios throughout this course to teach and model the course content.
I have published articles and presented several conference sessions on how I teach this important topic in the teacher-preparation program. Because of this passion, earlier this year I was elected to serve as the new committee chair for the classroom management special interest group for the national Association of Teacher Educators.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
My wife and I have been married for 14 years and have two children, Rylie, 10, and Grayson, 7. Most of my time away from GCU is spent at lacrosse games, horse shows and cheer competitions. I am also a triathlete and recently competed in the AZ Half Ironman (October 2020) in Tempe. I also enjoy woodworking, golf and spending time outside with my beautiful wife.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I love to snowboard. I was born and raised in California, which meant that the mountains were only a few hours away. From helicopter snowboard trips to crossing over to Canada to ride new mountains, chasing epic snow is a passion. Before kids, my record is 56 days of snowboarding in one winter season. Here’s to more powder-snow in the future!