Deidre Alves is IRWA’s Chief Learning Officer.
front, center and in the driver’s seat as an instructor for IRWA’s
C102- Elevating Your Ethical Awareness. Lora also instructs
many of our IRWA Law classes, including but not limited to C800-
Principles of Real Estate Law, C801- United States Land Titles
and C804- Skills of Expert Testimony.
What is the most rewarding part of instructing for the
The most fulfilling part of instructing is having the opportunity
to influence someone’s career development. Education is key to
anything we do in our lives, so to have the potential to impact
someone’s growth is an amazing feeling. It is also a tremendous
responsibility, so I am always trying new approaches and
implementing ideas in an effort to improve the education
experience. With the availability of online learning for so many
classes, I believe that raises the bar for instructors to offer
something distinctive to make the classroom experience special.
The best part of a class is when the participants fully engage
and share experiences. Not only do these perspectives enhance
collective learning, but they also allow me to augment my
instruction in future classes. In addition, class participation enables
me to check for understanding and see what topics may need more
or less coverage.
Ultimately, getting to know more about people in our profession
is the most rewarding part of instructing a class and knowing the
contribution I can make on an individual’s career is what gives me
IRWA’s purpose is to improve the quality of life
through infrastructure development. As an instructor,
how do you contribute to the fulfillment of this
I love the IRWA mission statement! It really sums up the impact
our industry has across the globe. Many times, the public sees
infrastructure projects as a negative when they have to endure
construction inconveniences or with the use of eminent domain
power. However, I like the fact that everything we do on a daily
basis is rooted in infrastructure. Whether it’s turning on a light in
the morning, taking a shower or driving to work, infrastructure
impacts everyone’s life every day!
As an instructor, I like to incorporate this mission theme into our
curriculum so that our membership can take pride in the work that
we do. IRWA’s ethical foundation is to protect the integrity of our
profession. We are all representatives of our industry in various
capacities, so we have a chance to market the positive impacts of
our trade through our interactions with the public.
best in class
What is the most important thing you would like
your future students to know upon entering your
I have two goals for each class: 1) the students will retain
the material we cover in class, and 2) the class is fun. Many
people take classes for credit and focus on passing the
exam. Sure, I want everyone to pass, but the bigger goal
of our classes is to impart knowledge that can empower
the participants in their respective careers. That’s why my
favorite class to teach is Course 102—Elevating Your Ethical
Awareness. I start out by saying, “I am about to give you the
best news you will hear all day—there is no test!” That seems
to relax everyone and enable them to focus on dialogue and
My philosophy is that people retain information if it is
associated with a positive experience. That is why I strive to
have fun in class. Also, a relaxed, fun atmosphere allows a
person to open up, which helps to foster participation.
Even though I am instructing, there is so much to be learned
from the other participants in a class. That is why shared
knowledge significantly augments the learning experience.
In fact, this information exchange enables me to learn, too.
When I begin a class by setting expectations, I ask everyone
to participate. I tell them that my biggest fear is that they will
go to sleep that night hearing my voice in their head, so let’s
please hear some other voices, too! J
A special thank you to Lora for sharing her instructional
insights in right of way/ infrastructure professional learning
with us. To book Lora or any of our other talented CLIMB
Certified Instructors today in your Chapter, please visit https://
click “Find an Instructor” or if you would like to nominate
an instructor to be featured in our series, please contact