Reimagining Remote Teaching Volume 24 | GCTC

Reimagining Remote Teaching Volume 24

by Dr. Kerri McKenna - March 17, 2021

I am excited with the response I’ve already received from Volume 23 of ReImagining Remote Teaching! I have had several people reach out and say “count me in”, “I need this”, and “I am so looking forward to a reset” about faculty learning communities during the 2021 – 2022 academic year. Several of those conversations have also included possible topics. To this end, the rest of Volume 24 will focus on presenting possible FLC topics for next year. Please note, however, that these topics are simply suggestions. Nothing is finalized and we can go any direction you would like. FLC’s are based on what YOU want to learn about, not on a scripted professional development experience that has been chosen for you.

Often, topics include finding a common book or curriculum to help you with your journey. The Teaching and Learning Center can assist with finding resources if needed. Here are a few ideas and what they might look like as topics for a Faculty Learning Community: 

Trauma-Informed Classrooms

When we choose to be trauma-informed in our classrooms, we learn how to engage and build positive, supportive relationships with our students. As we delve into the research to learn more about Trauma-Informed classrooms, we will discuss how trauma presents itself in our classrooms. We will also further develop our toolbox by adding effective interventions which have shown the most promise with students. We can then use this information to redesign our classroom experiences to improve student engagement, success, and retention.

Anti-Racist Pedagogy / Implicit Bias

Gateway has shown great leadership with its DEI initiatives, but we all know there’s more we can do. Starting with a common book and supportive roundtable discussions, we can wrestle with our privilege and implicit biases, and we can seek out good models for broaching these uncomfortable topics in our classrooms.

Writing across the Curriculum

We assume that students benefit from an education by learning transferable skills they can apply to other contexts. But writing is nor a one-size-fits-all endeavor: the expectations about what counts as evidence, how one reasons about the subject matter, and how one expresses ideas vary widely from discipline to discipline. Becoming more knowledgeable about these differences helps us demystify it for students. 

In addition, many studies have shown that writing is a uniquely effective way to help students learn material and retain it for future courses or professional situations. This group might also consider ways to add more writing to technical or non-writing Gen Ed courses, and to support each other as we implement best practices.

“What is College-Level Writing?”

Compositionists Patrick Sullivan and Harold Tinberg have filled two volumes of essays exploring this question, from a range of perspectives, including those of high school teachers, college professors, and dual credit students themselves. Replace “I’ll know it when I see it” with a deeper and richer understanding, not only to help students achieve it, but to understand the wide variety of misunderstandings held by our stakeholders. 

Building Relationships with Dual Credit Learners

As more of our classes find us engaging with High School students, we are experiencing a brand-new learning curve of our own: how to build positive relationships with Generation Z and while simultaneously bridging their HS expectations with our college classrooms. We can do a crash course in K-12 education to understand where our students are coming from while also creating college-level activities with the built-in support our Gen Z students need!

Self-Care in Higher Education

Self-Care is a unicorn. We all know it. We hear it about it, we are told about it, but the reality is: how do we make it actually happen? This discussion group would explore what self-care truly is and how to apply it to ourselves so we can better create work-life balance.

Making Curriculum Intentional

Curriculum, at the college level, is often a one-page reference sheet of course objectives and a textbook. If we are lucky, we might even get a faculty manual for the textbook that explains the ins and outs of each chapter and recommends some activities. Unfortunately, this often leaves us feeling stressed as we make our way through our classes. When this happens, we tend to make curriculum by accident. This group would allow us to learn about curriculum and how we can be more intentional in our classrooms – which will improve student engagement and make our classes more rigorous.

Another question I have been asked is: what happens if I do not like any of the FLC topics, but I still want to participate in a Professional Development Journey? Simple answer, we’ve got you! We can handle this situation multiple ways. The first is you can work independently on your project with the Teaching and Learning Center as a sounding board when you need me. Or, we can create a cohort FLC where each person is doing their own work but is still responsible for their individual projects by reporting out during FLC meetings. In many ways, this last option could be incredibly valuable, as you would be learning about many topics at once!

If you are interested in participating in a 2021 – 2022 FLC, please take 2 minutes to complete this Faculty Learning Center Interest Inventory. I will then use this information to begin planning for the fall semester!