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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Hanford Business Administration instructor helps students recognize their greatness

August 10, 2017

Hanford Business Administration intructor Matthew GlasgowWhen Matthew Glasgow was 5 years old, his parents left him in charge of their pottery booth at a craft fair for just a few minutes. That was all it took for him to realize his career ambition. “I had the knowledge and enjoyed sharing it,” he says. “That feeling turned into teaching.”

As a Business Administration program instructor at the Hanford campus, Matthew exercises those early coaching muscles to great advantage for his students. “I use a lot of projects and interaction to engage my students,” he says. “I use stories and life experiences to teach concepts.”

Then, it gets personal. “Not to be overdramatic, but I will fight to the death for them, do everything in my power to point them in the direction of success,” he enthuses. “But, they have to do their part, too.”

At the beginning of each module, Matthew gives his students a clear picture of what they can expect from him. “You’re at the bottom of a 10-foot hole, and I have a 9-foot rope,” he explains. “I can only take you so far, and you have to do your part.”

Matthew knows about holes. He spent a few years as a partner in a business that could not succeed. “I knew nothing about the business, and it failed miserably,” he remembers. “But, I learned a lot from that situation, and I use that experience in my teaching.”

He started teaching part-time out of financial necessity. “I got into substitute teaching and decided I kind of liked this.” Matthew had been coaching sports for many years and found that those skills transferred easily into the classroom.

Matthew found he had both a natural aptitude and sincere interest in helping others. He also had an important message born of life’s challenges and accomplishments. “I think that sometimes in people, your greatness doesn’t come from what you accomplish, it comes from what you overcame.”

Matthew loves the energy in his classroom. “I enjoy the interaction I get from each of the amazing students I have,” he says. “We have a family-oriented culture. With each new start I tell them, ‘Every family has a story, welcome to ours.’”

It usually does not take long for his “kids” to figure out that there is something a little different about their classroom…about their teacher.

“I’m OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder),” Matthew states, matter-of-factly. “I have a certain way my markers have to be, the laptops have to be in order, all the chairs have to always be at the same height, Kleenex boxes in the right place. That’s how I control my chaos.”

This, too, is a teaching opportunity. “We all have things we struggle with, barriers to overcome,” says Matthew. “When we have a connection, we can better overcome that barrier.”

Matthew credits his parents, Don and Joan, with teaching him tolerance, acceptance, and lots of patience. “They’re amazing people; they had to deal with me!” He admits to his adolescent behaviors as having been compared to Bart Simpson of “The Simpsons.” He was mischievous and imaginative in ways that, at times, narrowly escaped severe consequences, during his high school years.

Maybe that is part of what makes Matthew such a good instructor. He relates well to both life struggles and the personal growth it takes to achieve any measure of success.

“Mr. Glasgow has always gone above and beyond his job title,” says Samantha Martinez, former SJVC Business Administration student, and current SJVC Financial Aid Officer. “He has so much experience in life that he is able to help students across the board with a number of professional and personal blocks. He is doing great things and has great ideas!”

Matthew is committed to helping his students become life-long learners. “You have to look for that, prepare for that every day,” he emphasizes. “At the end of each day, I ask myself, and tell my students to ask themselves, ‘What did I learn?’ It can be about what we did in class, about being a student, about life; it can be about anything, just as long as you learned something new.”

Awareness brings powerful change. “I see that recognition when a student knows that they are amazing,” says Matthew. “A lot of times they don’t come in with that confidence, but when they recognize it, that’s awesome.”

Sometimes they come back. “The best thing about teaching in the business program is when I see them succeed, and when they come back and say, ‘thank you,’” says Matthew. “It’s not because of me, but because I was able to guide them toward their realization of their success.”

Matthew admits that it is difficult to accept praise from his students. “It’s hard for me to get compliments from my students. I get the honor of learning from them.”

What goes around, comes around in this Business Administration classroom. Matthew is preparing his students to carry this powerful dynamic out into the world.

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