Dr. Patric Taylor, a California resident and recent Walden graduate, wasn’t planning to attend Walden’s commencement ceremony in Miami on Jan. 19 due to the distance and the expenses involved. But a surprise gift of $1,300 from his colleagues at Irvine Valley College is making it possible for Dr. Taylor and his wife to celebrate his remarkable accomplishment of receiving his Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in Teacher Leadership.
Dr. Taylor, 62, never imagined that his life would lead him into the field of education. He was a theater major in the early ’70s and had some success, but his bachelor’s degree wasn’t the door opener he had hoped for. After joining the general workforce and opening a wholesale lumber company where he worked for 13 years, Dr. Taylor realized he wasn’t really enjoying life.
“I remember sitting on the floor of my company with my wife after we’d closed the business, watching things being sold off, and I asked her, ‘What do I do now?’ She asked me if I ever thought about going back and getting my master’s to teach,” said Dr. Taylor. At 46, Dr. Taylor wasn’t sure if he could do it, but going back to earn his master’s degree started him on a new educational journey.
“My passion for teaching grew from my experience teaching at Cal State University at Long Beach after I earned my master’s,” said Dr. Taylor. “However, I wanted more and to be better than I was.”
Aggrieved by the lack of education he saw in the students attending his classes, Dr. Taylor wanted to change what was happening. With his master’s degree he felt he could make some changes, but to really make a difference in the education system and have people take him seriously, Dr. Taylor decided to pursue his doctorate.
Currently, Dr. Taylor is the director of the Performing Arts Center at Irvine Valley College. He was teaching classical Greek and Roman vocabulary words to his students as part ofhis classes when he realized that his students weren’t retaining the information. Dr. Taylor developed an in-class teaching system to help students retain vocabulary words as opposed to the traditional model of giving students lists to review independently at home. Dr. Taylor then decided to base his Walden dissertation topic on whether he could successfully teach another teacher to use his innovative system. This system is now being used at the college.
“I wanted to be a better teacher, and my classes at Walden, my emphasis in teacher leadership, helped me to be a better teacher and teach others to be better teachers,” remarked Dr. Taylor. While there were moments when Dr. Taylor thought he couldn’t finish, the desire to do something better and bring new ideas to the table spurred him on.
Dr. Taylor and his wife, along with his five sons and their families who will be watching online, will all be celebrating Dr. Taylor’s accomplishment on Jan. 19.