Profiles in Education: Aaron Pond

We’re back with the next installment in our “Instructors with a Passion for Education series.” Veritas Prep not only has a number of experienced GMAT instructors worldwide, but many of those instructors have also pursued education as a lifelong career. The Veritas Prep faculty includes college professors, educational PhDs and Ed. Ds, schoolteachers and administrators, and many others for whom teaching is a passion and not a job. We interviewed a few instructors to learn more about their passion for education, and to show how this passion has translated into the Veritas Prep classroom experience. Our latest interview is with Aaron Pond, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor in Salt Lake City.

Who is Aaron Pond?
Aaron has a unique curiosity of organizational behavior and he hopes to incorporate his knowledge from business school to “improve educational organizations.” He describes, “My degree is an Ed.D. (or Doctor of Education.) Harvard first began offering specialty Ed.D. doctorates instead of the vague “Ph.D.” normally found. My emphasis is in Educational Leadership. Interestingly enough, it dovetails extremely well with my MBA. The reason I chose to get an MBA was because I wanted to study cutting-edge research and principles to apply to educational organizations.

To be honest, such research is not found in Departments of Education. Cutting-edge organizational behavior and leadership research is generally found in Business Schools. Therefore, my object from the very beginning of my MBA was to incorporate relevant, useful, and insightful principles to improve educational organizations. Practically every class in my MBA had immediate relevancy in education. I have also been able to use many of the insights I gained in my MBA to inform educational practice and theory throughout my doctoral work.” His love for education was his reason for going to business school. He wanted to broaden his research of organizational behavior and leadership in order to become a better educator.

An Influential Teacher
“I took a class from Dr. Bob Johnson, who just recently accepted a position at the University of Alabama. The class was on Organizational Theory and Leadership, and you could tell that Dr. Johnson was well versed not only in the narrow field educational organizational theory research, but also in the broader dialogue of organizational theory (with which I was familiar.) His class helped me to see the profound conceptual bridges that tie the general field to specific educational structures. He was passionate about what he taught, and I was incredibly disheartened when he left the university.” It is clear that Aaron is passionate about the structure and leadership involved in education. His research is like solving a puzzle; he likes to put all the pieces next to each other and see how they all tie into educational organization.

Why Education?
“That one is easy. I come from a family of teachers: my father is a university professor. My mother teaches kindergarten. I have a sister who teaches at the high school level, a brother who is a special-needs teacher in California, and another brother who is just finishing up his Master’s degree with the goal of counseling troubled youth. And so, in a sense, I have always had teaching in my blood. I believe that education is the noblest of professions.

In the long run, teaching is likely the only profession that makes a profound multi-generational difference every day. Some people make widgets for a living; others create beautiful works of art. However, educators create lives. They create culture. They create the opportunity for success where before none existed. They add purpose and meaning and direction to the lives of those with whom they associate. They perpetuate everything that is good, and noble, and distinctive about what it means to be human.” Education runs deep through Aaron’s blood. He was born to be an educator, and he has a clear desire to be the best that he can be.

Aaron finished his interview by stating, “As you can see, I don’t consider teaching as a mere job. I don’t teach to get a paycheck – whether that paycheck comes from Veritas Prep or from a school district. I teach because I enjoy helping people and I want to make a difference in their lives. The reason why I chose Education for my doctorate is simply so I could be more effective at what I have always done.”

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