Teaching & Learning

Norma’s Reason Why

What Drives Norma Willis to Teach at SMCC?

According to uopeople.com, Teachers truly are the backbone of society. They hold up and support the people and the world; without them teaching us, where would any of us be? So what makes a person realize they wish to teach? Why do they teach? Is there a moment that struck them, and they realized that is where they belong? Luckily, you don’t need to think too hard; I already did and asked around.

Norma Willis teaches the Health Science program. When asked why she teaches, she said, “My teaching career was an unexpected and yet amazing opportunity for me to share my passion with future caregivers.”

Willis was asked in 1997 to teach for the Cardiovascular program at Southern Maine Community College. She said she was nervous and excited to continue the work started by Louise Wheeler, the first cardiac sonography technologist in Maine. “After one semester, I was hooked!” she said.

Willis is passionate about her clinical nursing and has a managerial background in cardiac ultrasound. She says, “I am inspired to help students find their health career passion and grow their knowledge and skills. I am inspired by the “lightbulb” moments I witness with regularity.”

My son once asked me if I miss caring for patients directly. My simple answer is yes. My more meaningful response is as follows. I can care for five to eight people daily in the clinical setting. Since teaching cardiac ultrasound, I have taught/trained over 200 students. If each of them performs five exams per day, my teaching impacts the care of one thousand plus patients per day or approximately 260,000 patients per year.” 

Our SMCC graduates are working across many health disciplines and making a significant impact on patients every day. I love helping them find their career and their passion. 

 This is where I belong.”

Her ending with such a nice “This is where I belong” just ties a perfect bow on it. 

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