My name is Mike Morrell. I was born and raised in Orem, Utah. Growing up here, I wanted nothing more than to run away. I did not appreciate my surroundings. I wanted to learn more about the world beyond the confines of the mountains that surrounded my home. My curiosity about the world began at a young age as I witnessed many family members travel to all corners of the earth. They would come back with fascinating stories about people, places, and (most importantly) delicious food! This curiosity set me down the path being a lifelong learner.
My elementary and secondary education resulted in me finding and cultivating a passion with music and performance through my participation in choir and theater (I’m a classically trained vocalist and have acted in 8 productions).My undergraduate degree led me to a fascination with travel and social studies by living and studying psychology, anthropology, sociology, and history in Hawaii, California, and London. My master’s degree led me to an understanding and respect for the public education system and those who make it a possibility on a daily basis. With all this experience, I have made Utah my home, and wouldn’t have it any other way. In my spare time I enjoy hiking with my dog (Jane, a Springer Spaniel), going on road trips, trying new restaurants, taking pictures, restoring vintage/antique furniture, and traveling the world.
Having spent the last seven years teaching, I have dedicated countless hours giving all my energy to making sure my students know that, above all else, I respect and support them. I have spearheaded multiple programs and worn many hats both during and after school hours. I am ready and excited to join the Timberline community, for a new experience, to expand and broaden my horizons, and hopefully, continue to learn more about myself and the world around me.
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
My philosophy about teaching is continuously evolving, but if I had to put my philosophy into words it would be this: My job as an educator is to provide a safe space for students of all walks of life to take risks, cultivate curiosity, foster independence, and develop skills that will lead them to their own personal success. I believe this can be done by cultivating an expectation of mutual respect between me and each of my students. I believe the key to achieving this respect is by truly listening to each student and making time to let them know that I care. I show students that I care about them by holding them to high standards, making my expectations clear, and supporting them along the way.
I meet students where they are, and help them develop the skills they need to fill in the gaps as they strive to achieve their goals. Additionally, my students know that I am willing to work hard to achieve desired outcomes. I do this through modeling a resilient approach to learning. When I don’t know the answer to a question, my response is always, “I don’t know, and that’s OK. Let’s figure this out together!” I believe the best learning environment is one where students are being challenged to find their own solutions to real life situations. I do this through providing meaningful, authentic, hands-on, experiential learning experiences as much as possible.