‘Be Patient, Be You’
Alum Finds His Place in the Classroom
By Ashley Kilday, Contributing Writer
It was several enjoyable experiences in peer tutoring that set Donald Lynch-Limon on his path to becoming an educator. “I thought about switching from Public Administration to Education, but that would have added two years to my degree plan,” he recalled. “I graduated from SFA and started working full-time. I really wanted a History degree, so I started taking two classes a semester at UHD.”
As he worked in the corporate world, helping to onboard new employees at his company, the overlap between training and teaching stood out. “I realized I didn’t want to do this for the next 20 years,” he said, “so after I got my B.A. from UHD I got my alternative certification and started teaching.” He has been working at the Harmony School of Ingenuity for nine years.
Lynch-Limon recognized the advantages of majoring in education, “They know what they want to do from the get-go.” But, he said, he wouldn’t change his path. “I have experience from the corporate world that gives me more patience with things like annual training and sometimes awkward icebreakers, paperwork, and handling parents.”
From Teacher to Professor
Lynch-Limon started teaching at UHD as an adjunct professor in spring of 2023. “My course focuses on how to teach Social Studies. The atmosphere of college teaching is far more autonomous than the high school environment,” he observed. “It’s a different approach.”
In 2022, Lynch-Limon graduated from UHD again, this time with a Master of Teaching with an emphasis on History. The program reinforced the importance of diverse teaching techniques and going beyond conventional textbooks. “Although I had already been teaching for five years, the M.A. gave me some great additional tools,” he said.
Lynch-Limon said his teaching style evolved, drawing inspiration from a film-appreciation class at UHD. There were also several UHD professors whose lectures Lynch-Limon admired. “They were in front of the class telling a story, and you could tell they were passionate about their topic. I picked up a lot of presentation skills from those professors,” he said. “Another thing I picked up from UHD is something I tell my students: I want them to respectfully disagree and be able to back up their perspectives with critical thinking, not just because they saw something on social media.”
A Personal Mark
Lynch-Limon champions individuality and personal connection in the classroom, and he encourages aspiring teachers to foster an environment of understanding and open communication. “Teachers should feel empowered to put their mark on how they teach. And remember that students are just people who come into the classroom having had their own varied experiences during the day. Be patient and be you,” he added.
Through this lens, Lynch-Limon considers his journey at UHD, fueled by both a B.A. and an M.A., not only have enriched his education but also invigorated his approach to teaching, imbuing him with the excellent set of skills that shape his students today.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.