Before the fall semester began, I was notified that I had been selected as a Walter and Pauline Adams Academy fellow. The program brings together a cross-disciplinary group of faculty to focus on effective teaching and learning practices. The academy seeks to help faculty make instructional decisions that allow students to better learn course content.
This year there are 12 fellows from across the campus. We meet once a month and have meet twice already this semester. I’ll write more in detail about the content of our workshops later. But I first wanted to write about why I applied for this fellowship.
I love learning and have been lucky enough to have wonderful teachers who have encouraged and inspired me throughout my life. Teaching was one of the reasons that the (assistant) professor career was so appealing.
I have taught university courses since graduate school. They basically told me where to go, what time to show up, and the course objectives—everything else was up to me. I felt like I have been a good instructor, I have definitely learned a lot by trial and error. But that isn’t good enough for me—the person who loves to learn.
I wanted this opportunity to carve out dedicated time to reflect and be thoughtful on my teaching practices. I need a better foundation of understanding the methods and theoretical framework that are available and evidence-based in order to make better pedagogical decisions in the classroom. Our students are with us for such a short amount of time and are paying a lot of money—I want them to be able to get the most out of there classroom experiences.