Ms. Poindexter, Senior Instructor of French, received the University's highest honor for teaching in the spring of 2019. Below you will find her teaching philosophy and some of the keys to her success as an educator. We congratulate her on this honor!
Teaching is my true passion and it brings me great joy to share my native French language and culture with students. Every semester, I incorporate new activities involving technology to engage students. I also firmly believe that students learn better if I use the target language in class as much as possible. When teaching, I also keep in mind students' different learning styles in order to reach each person in the classroom.
Keeping in touch with modern French culture and seeing recent changes in French vocabulary is crucial in order to remain authentic. I enjoy discussing contemporary literature with my students. As a reader, I notice new trends in writing styles that I share with students who are travelling to Paris.
As an educator, I feel that my continued learning is an important part of my responsibilities. I have taken many wonderful classes at the university, notably in our Department (many Spanish classes as well as two in Japanese) to see how a beginner learner feels while being exposed to a new language. Being in a class with a student's perspective taught me a great deal and I was inspired to change my activities to make sure everyone felt comfortable. I consider myself very fortunate to be part of a department that fosters such rich exchanges between colleagues.
I arrived in Paris at the age of two and lived there for thirty years. Taking students abroad is one of the most enriching components of my teaching because it gives students the opportunity to directly practice what they have learned in the classroom. This is also an opportunity for me to share a familiar place with students who may be going there for the first time.
In the past, I enjoyed directing the Paris Summer Program, which also included excursions to D-Day sites in Normandy and Chateaux in the Loire Valley.
I started the Martinique program in 1993 to introduce students to another part of my heritage and the program has been successful ever since. In Martinique, the focus of the program is to give students an opportunity to see the French Caribbean beyond its touristic aspects. Our UD students are involved in the local community through a small internship in a field of their interest. Students help out in local schools, veterinary clinics, medical labs, hotels, a gourmet chocolatier, and even have articles in the France-Antilles, the local newspaper.
Living with host families also gives students the unique experience of seeing how locals live and how quickly they can be incorporated into a family that is different from their own. Many students have kept in touch with their host families and photos of past students' weddings and children are often shared with current students.
Everyone in Martinique welcomes the opportunity to help our students improve their knowledge of the language and culture.
Outside of my own study abroad programs, I recently enjoyed creating and teaching a French for Fashion course, which prepares students to have a basic level of French and knowledge of the city before travelling to Paris through the Fashion Merchandising Program.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and practicing Aikido. I also enjoy running races with my children and recently started taking piano lessons again.