College of Education
M.Ed. in Elementary Education - Northern Arizona University, AZ
B.A. in Elementary Education - Ottawa University, KS
About Kirsten Belles
Kirsten was given her first teaching position in 1994, two weeks prior to the new school year starting. Kirsten continued to teach at the same school for several years, occasionally changing grade levels to keep her on her toes. In 2000, she trained to become a Reading Recovery teacher through California State, Fresno. Kirsten was born and raised in Arizona and has been married to Steve, a fabulous Head football coach at the High School level for thirteen years. She has a beautiful, energetic, ten year daughter Emersen whose participation in club volleyball keeps her very busy. Kirsten participates in an outdoor boot camp and loves to exercise and read.
How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?
I take pleasure in facilitating online courses for Grand Canyon University. I consider myself a life-long learner. I love a challenge and thrive on learning the latest trends in education. Granted with the opportunity of being an online instructor I feel this type of learning is the future of education. Online education allows for experiences to take place that are impossible in the traditional classroom. Online education has no limits; therefore, it creates an ideal learning atmosphere. I have found even though I am the facilitator and I am sharing my teaching experiences with my students, I am also learning and growing from each and every individual I meet.
What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?
I challenge all of my students to become life-long learners while creating a welcoming environment promoting higher-level thinking and problem solving skills. I provide students with tools that encourage and inspire learning. It is important to meet the needs of all students and I have high expectations for every student. Open communication is something I strive for when guiding individuals to a successful future and I encourage this through the discussions that take place.
What is a GCU online student success story you can share?
I had a student who was struggling to get through the course. Her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and she became the caretaker. I shared a personal story with her that I had gone through the very same issue with my mother while I was trying to make it through college courses. I allowed this student the opportunity to share her fears and thoughts and to ask me questions day or night to help put her mind somewhat at ease. She was able to focus on what her mother would have wanted her to focus on which was successfully completing her course work and eventually the ultimate goal of completing a degree.