Love of speech becomes passion to teach

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

Matthew Malloy wanted to be a teacher since he was in first grade. In fact, he didn’t understand then why he could not successfully teach kindergarten since he had already learned all there was for kindergartners to know.

“I think I remember asking my mom in first grade why I couldn’t teach kindergarten now. She was like, ‘It’s a little bit harder than that,’” Malloy said.

Because of his passion and dedication to teaching, Malloy received the 2014 Great Teacher Award at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. He has taught public speaking and intrapersonal communications for 10 years.

“I knew I had been nominated, but I didn’t think I was going to win. I was humbled and surprised,” Malloy said. “I just don’t know what I’d be doing with my life. I just couldn’t go to a 9-to-5 job. Teaching is just a great fit for me. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

Malloy received his bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and his master’s from New York University. At ASU, Malloy knew he wanted to teach, but he had difficulty deciding what to teach. As soon as he stepped into Silvia Jones’s speech class, he was hooked.

“I was the kid, (if) they asked someone at school to do announcements or read in church, that was me. I never turn down an occasion to give a speech,” Malloy said.

After graduating, a friend told him CCC&TI was looking for a part-time instructor, and after six months he took on a full-time teaching position.

“It’s naturally beautiful in this area. I like the proximity to Boone, and Charlotte’s not too far away, and I kind of like Asheville,” Malloy said.

Malloy enjoys using engaging lectures to stimulate the minds of his students, but he makes sure the students stay involved and teach each other as well.

“I have a lot of student-led discussions where I assign things that they have to research and be prepared to speak about. I teach online, try to use things like videos and stuff. In public speaking, the majority of the time I’m listening to them give speeches,” he said.

His overall goal for his students is for them to obtain what he calls “the three Cs” by the end of the semester.

“My biggest goal for them is for them to just become competent, credible and mostly confident communicators. Public speaking is about getting them to be comfortable giving speeches and intrapersonal communications, trying to get them to understand to be more effective in conversations and relationships in groups,” Malloy said.

Malloy will be recognized at the National Great Teachers Seminar in Hawaii Aug. 8-15.