Education and Experience

Judy Fishel: Education and Experience

When Judy and her husband  were younger, they  traveled and worked for eight years in Asia. teaching short workshops, working with a group called the Ecumenical Institute or the ICA (Institute of Cultural Affairs). They lived for shorter periods in Hong Kong, India, and Malaysia. They spent about three years each in the Philippines and in the Marshall Islands.

While they lived in the Philippines Judy was Vice Principal at the International School just outside Manila where she did a lot of teacher training. Later, while living in the Marshall Islands, she  first taught in a small local elementary school and later in what was then the only public high school in the country. One of her students is now principal of another Marshallese High School.

Her experience include teaching all ages from infants through adults. She taught in schools in many parts of the United States. She most often taught middle school or high school math and science.

Judy received several awards in teaching math and science including twice winning the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (once for elementary, once for secondary).

She made presentations at local, regional, and national conferences for Science, Mathematics, Multiple Intelligences, Critical Thinking, and Brain-Based Teaching and Learning.

While teaching in Bristol, RI, Judy was part of a teacher group who developed a handbook of Thinking, Learning and Study Skills. This helped give names to methods she was already been using.

Judy’s Education

She has actually taken classes in a total of 18 colleges and universities. All these experiences taught her a great deal about how to study.

Why so many? When you move frequently and you need to take courses to update teaching credentials, you take a few classes here and a few somewhere else wherever you go.

In addition to college classes, Judy participated in several workshops including Critical Thinking with Dr. Richard Paul, Brain-based Learning and Teaching with Eric Jensen, and a wonderful serious of workshops on creative ways of teaching math with Rachel McAnallen.  She applied what she learned in her classes and shared ideas in teacher training events and conferences.

Schools where Judy earned degrees

A few of the schools where she studied:

  • 2 years at the University of Florida planning to study Biology
  • 2 years at the University of Chicago: AB in Philosophy
  • Chicago State University: MA in School guidance
  • Bridgewater (MA) State College: MA in Biology
  • Brown University: MA in ESL and Cross Cultural Studies (Thesis on Critical Thinking)

“Yes, I know it’s crazy to have 4 degrees in unrelated subjects,” Judy agrees, “but they all made sense at the time and they were all, more or less, related to teaching”

In addition to these she took courses at 13 other colleges and universities mainly  in order to update teaching credentials.  Many were special classes just for science teachers.

In addition to classes Judy took for credit, she often  asked professors if she could just sit in. This got her  into graduate classes starting her freshman year of college. Even when just “sitting in,” she did all the assignments and took all the tests. After all, she was in the class to learn something and it was clear that she wouldn’t learn much if she didn’t work at it.

Even in high school, Judy was bothered by the fact that what students worked so hard to learn was soon forgotten. She realized that she remembered information longer when she chose to study the subject.  Information from required classes tended to disappear more quickly from memory. In recent years Judy has found strategies to help students remember material much longer, perhaps as long as they want to remember it.


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