Susan Turgeson, FCS Educator at University of Wisconsin

Welcome to Connect FCS Ed, thank you so much for listening. I’m your host Barbara Scully and today I am excited to share my special guest with you, Susan Turgeson. Susan has been a member of the faculty at University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point, since 2012. She has completed at her doctoral program in Educational Leadership in 2015, and currently an associate professor at the School of Health Sciences and wellness. She primarily works with pre-professional family and consumer sciences students and graduate level students, she has been recognized as the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, that’s our AAFCS sister organization as the National Teacher of the Year in 2009. She also received the AAFCS new Achiever Award in 2005, and the AAFCS leader award in 2017. Prior to working at WSP, Susan has taught for years at the middle school level, and 12 years at the high school level, so she has a wealth of information, so I’m so excited to have her on, so that we could all learn from her.

Listen in…


•   It’s definitely a journey and one that if I have to say, it really started back in elementary school. I had a younger brother and sister who I always played school with, my sister is a medical doctor and she still credits me with making her so smart. But we used to play school all the time, and so I wanted to be a teacher. (2:38)

•   The idea of planning and organizing. The other thing that adds to that is we’re never just planning for the day, we’re planning for the next week, we’re planning for the next year. I never know what day it is, because I’m always doing something for a future project or another class or… Most people are probably thinking about working on their budgets already for next year, and it’s only January right now, so it can be a lot to kind of juggle and manage that’s for sure. But what we love doing it and if we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t be doing it. (10:15)

•    It’s about progress, not perfection. It’s in like what we were talking about earlier when talking about just your educational journey, it’s about the journey, and that’s the thing that I love so much, and especially when it comes to our content. And nothing is set in stone. I’m able to put my own spin on things, I’m a very creative individual when it comes to what technology and having fun, and that’s what I love, to have fun with my students and it helps me just kind of tap into my playful side. (16:14)

•    But I think that that’s the best part about being an FCS teacher, as you know, you do impact students and on any given day. Whether you have a class of 3 or 30, there’s one person who you’ve really had an influence on and have an impact that day, and you don’t always know who that is. Sometimes they come back and share with you, sometimes they don’t, but everything we do is so relevant and affects individuals, and I think that’s so exciting. (26:42)

•   And so for teachers who might be that one person in their whole district that does family consumer sciences, sometimes that can be a little isolating and scary. And now they can just reach out so easily to others to help them, so no one has to suffer in silence alone. If you’re struggling, if you’re needing some ideas, if you just need someone to give you that pep talk, and sometimes that’s my role at the university, as well as I just have to occasionally talk people off the ledge. (44:01)


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February 03, 2021

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