Professor of Education: Dr. Laura Handler

by Diana Castro-Vazquez

Dr. Laura Handler is a new professor in the Education department at Greensboro College, with this being the first semester of her first year at GC. She teaches Introduction to Technology, Planning and Assessment, Positive Behavior Supports and Classroom Management, Mathematics Methods and Assessment, English Language Arts Methods and Assessment as well as Educational Assessment.

A portrait of Dr. Laura Handler.

Handler has been in the field of education since graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 2004. She was a TA in Winston-Salem at the Children’s Center, then taught first grade English in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2005, she moved to Charlotte and worked at Pinewood Elementary for nine years, teaching first grade, fourth grade and serving as an academic facilitator for all grades.

She went back to UNC Charlotte for her doctorate in 2014 and has been teaching classes in higher education since then. Prior to working at Greensboro College, she was an adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte in the Cato College of Education.

“I would like to think that the teaching I model in my courses positively influences the practices and dispositions of teachers in K-12 classrooms, which in turn affects the experiences of our community’s youth (our future!),” Handler said, when asked what she has contributed to her field. “In addition to teaching, I support several non-profits in the community, like Freedom Schools and Children of the World Learning Center, a dual language, multicultural preschool. I have published research focused on educational equity related to school choice policies as well as teaching practices that promote equity, inclusion and democratic discourse in the classroom.”

In Handler’s personal life, she likes to spend time with her husband and two boys, Casey, who just turned seven, and Max, who will turn one in December. They love to read and be outside together. She expressed that “getting to visit new places and meet new people is a true gift for which I always wish I had more time!”

Dr. Handler’s family.

Handler has always loved the tale of “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and an excerpt was read at her wedding. She has a great appreciation for music, especially live performances, and listens to a wide variety.

“Listening to the beautiful voices of Norah Jones or Alicia Keys always puts me in a happy place,” she said.

A fun fact about Handler is that she is the sixth of seven children in her family. Her dad is also one of seven children.

“Having to get along with so many different people growing up might have been the best preparation for life in the classroom,” she explained.

Some advice Handler gives to students going into the education program is that “relationships are first, always, and remember that every day you will learn just as much as (if not more than) your students, so be grateful to them, their families and your colleagues for those lessons.”

“Find joy in each day” is a mantra that Dr. Handler always tries to live by.


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