Continued Professional Growth: Demonstrate Your Commitment
Good teachers are always looking for better ways to engage and motivate students, to design course activities, and to help students learn. So it makes sense that the new teaching evaluation policy asks faculty to show "evidence of continued professional growth" as a teacher. How can you do that? Here are some ideas.
- Take time to reflect thoughtfully on your teaching. Keep a teaching journal, or write down your thoughts about each class as you finish it. Faculty who do this always report that it is time well spent.
- Keep up with the literature on teaching and learning. Most disciplines have journals that publish articles about pedagogy in the field. But some of the most interesting reading is cross-disciplinary. The OID Library offers many kinds of books and journals related to teaching. Selecting just one a year to read and write about or discuss with others is a great way to stay intellectually engaged with teaching.
- Talk about teaching with colleagues--both within your department and across the university. You may think you don't have time for this, but conversations about teaching can be one of the most rewarding and energizing experiences in faculty life. The Office of Instructional Development (OID) offers a variety of ways to converse with colleagues: everything from Box Lunch Discussions, to Faculty Study Seminars that meet five times a semester, to summer workshops that bring faculty from different disciplines together for intensive work on teaching. And the Midterm Student Feedback Program (SGID) provides an even more structured way to get some feedback on your teaching by trained faculty colleagues.
- If you need help, ask for it! Few of us are "born teachers." And many of us start our careers with no formal training in teaching. That means we're likely to struggle in our first years of teaching-or even later in our careers when we're trying to deal with change. If you know you're having difficulties, the worst thing you can do is keep your worries to yourself. Instead, confide in a trusted colleague. Or, if you're worried about how this will be seen in your department, call OID. The Director is always happy consult informally with faculty members about their teaching-and all such conversations are confidential.
For more information:
Office of Instructional Development
Anne Kelsch, Director