Faculty Focus: Dr. Leslie Foley
Title: Associate Professor, College of Education
Years at GCU: 7
- Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Northern Arizona University
- Master of Elementary Education, Northern Arizona University
- Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Literacy, Arizona State University
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
My most notable accomplishments are my students. I love working with students of all ages and levels. I have taught first grade students all the way up to doctoral learners. I get to see the greatness of my students. I see the kindness of one to another, the creativity in lesson plans, the passion for learning and serving others. I see everyday acts of generosity, leadership and perseverance, and I know that the future is bright.
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
Literacy! A lot has changed over the years in terms of our knowledge of literacy and how students learn to read. Staying current with research and best teaching practices and sharing that knowledge with my students is my passion.
I love the quote from Maya Angelou: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” As educators, we all do the best with what we know, and as we learn better, we can do better. My students have a true passion for learning and give their all to their students. They show up every day to learn more and do better. This type of passion and commitment inspires me.
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
My most memorable moments are the light bulb moments — the moments when I see the lessons finally click for students. In my mind, I can see a light bulb light up above their head. I can see it in their eyes, the relief and appreciation for what they have just come to understand. Whether it is a first grade student learning to read or a doctoral learner mastering a statistics equation, it is humbling to know that I have helped a student reach his or her potential at that exact moment. These moments are what keeps educators moving through the routine, the frustration and the heartbreak.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I enjoy playing with my two children at the park or going on hikes. We recently purchased a Jeep and enjoy going on off-road trips. I also like to read and craft.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
Growing up I wanted to be a dentist, and I have never had a cavity.