What Credentials Does Carla Maxwell Have?

I consider myself to be a practitioner of learning with a degree in teaching.  I seek out and enjoy the excitement of discovery that comes from learning and from teaching.  In fact, I am in the process of planning my next adventure in learning!

My Background  

I have been a Tennessee licensed teacher with a University of Memphis Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education (Grades 1-8) and five years' experience teaching in a public school system.  These days those academic and professional achievements are nice to have, but they don't really say much about my extensive background in learning and teaching.

My experience in teaching actually began when I was 13.  I started out as an assistant teacher teaching Bible classes to 3-year olds.  Once I learned how to teach the little ones in a traditional Sunday school setting, I moved on to teaching all ages in a weekly church bus ministry and continued doing so for 15 years.  Along the way I became a bus ministry workshop leader -- teaching other people how to teach and lead singing on church buses.

My understanding of the process of learning has come from my personal experiences as a student in many, many, workshops and community classes throughout my life.

My first community learning experience was at a neighbour's in-home Bible class when I was only three years old.  Even though that class was nearly 50 years ago, I can still remember how interesting my teacher was!  I continued community-based learning throughout my childhood by taking embroidery lessons,  piano lessons, and horseback riding lessons!

As an adult I continued informal learning with private classes, including:  drawing, tole and oil painting; sewing and smocking; and playing musical instruments; just to name a few.

Before becoming a primary school teacher, I had a 15 year career as a legal secretary, which included a role as President of the Memphis Legal Secretaries Association, I learned quite a lot from attending and coordinating events and professional workshops in the Tennessee local, state, and national legal secretaries associations.

Having such a unique background in learning and teaching, I was able to create a variety of unique teaching methods for the instruction of approximately 1000 driving students per year at Advanced Driving Schools from 1992-2009.  The driving school, now known as the Maxwell Driving School, continues to teach people to drive and offers court-required defensive driving classes.

Because of my own interest in music and mountain dulcimers, in 2002 I helped establish the Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club and The Memphis Dulcimer Gathering with Larry Conger.  In 2004, I co-founded the Memphis Dulcimer Gathering & Folk Festival, and the Memphis Dulcimer Gathering, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization.

As of January 2013, I am a Mississippi resident.  My current project is helping my husband, Adrian Kosky bring life to The Holy Moly, an old masonic temple building located in the historic downtown blues precinct of Clarksdale.  This beautiful building is perfect for living and learning.  I am doing both here at The Holy Moly and loving my new life in the Mississippi Delta.

The Holy Moly has a unique lay-out which, my experience tells me, will be wonderful for workshop settings.  I am excited by the many good things that are happening here in this community.

In May, 2014, Adrian and I started a new business within The Holy Moly.  We ran the business by ourselves. At the beginning we were selling only vanilla ice cream, coffee, snacks, and small gifts in The Holy Moly Drug Store at the corner of Third & Issaquena.  We used our little restaurant as a tool to learn about Mississippi and its historic downtown Clarksdale community.

By September, 2015, we were operating a fast-food restaurant, selling all the things we had started with, as well as more flavours of ice cream, a full menu of food items, and a variety of beverages. We had learned a whole lot about what needs to happen in downtown Clarksdale.  

In mid-September, we sold our restaurant business, along with a long-term lease for that corner of the building, so someone else could improve the restaurant and allow us to focus on other projects at The Holy Moly. Our new tenants will reopen the new and improved restaurant in 2016!