John Meisner has a deep love of education. He is a former middle school English teacher, Iron County School District professional development, ESL and new teacher induction coordinator. And after earning both his bachelor and master degrees at Southern Utah University, he has been on both sides of the classroom at SUU.
Though firmly in education now, Meisner’s original career path came from the influence of his family’s construction business, which he worked for early on.
“I was later a Realtor in Las Vegas, but really did not like anything to do with any of those industries. So, finally, after some real soul searching I realized that to really make a difference I needed to be a teacher. So we (family of 6) moved to southern Utah so I could go to SUU to be a teacher.”
Now as an Assistant Professor of Education at Southern Utah University, Meisner teaches a variety of classes in the education realm. Over his time at SUU he has taught:
- EDUC 2000 Exploring Education in Society
- EDUC 3000 Principles of Teaching & Learning
- EDUC 6030 21st Century Research and Data Education
- EDUC 6650 Master of Education Thesis Proposal Writing
- ELED 3555 Planning, Delivery, & Assess
- SCED 3590 Planning, Delivery, & Assessment
- SCED 3720 Content Area Literacy and Common Core
As Meisner teaches his students to teach, he has the opportunity to educate on multiple levels, from the work in his classroom to his students eventually teaching in their own classrooms.
“Truthfully, the impact in the lives of children is the best part of my job. I know of no other field that has the ability to really affect the life of a child the way teaching does, and in affecting the life of a child we have the ability to affect the course of history and our society. It’s a profound thing.”
Meisner is making lasting connections through his teaching at SUU and he is proudest of the moments when former students reach out with their successes. He would like to remind his students that “teaching is hard. It takes a lot of hours, it takes a lot of prep and it's easy to forget that why we do what we do is for the kids. It’s all about the kids. This whole industry, our whole College of Education and everything in it exists for the sole purpose of benefiting kids. I never want them to forget that.”
Beyond the impact Meisner and his students are making, he loves the chance to be creative in his work: “I’m always looking for interesting and innovative ways to do a better job. Teaching is never ‘all figured out.’ No two days are the same, no two classes are the same, no two students are the same. We are always coming up with new ways to get the job done and I see that as a challenge. I love it just as much today, if not more than I did back when I started.”