As a part of my responsibilities as Faculty Consultant for CATL, I was required to observe and conduct a peer evaluation of our new faculty members. Truly this was the best experience of this position! For the uninitiated, the instructor fills out a detailed pre-observation form detailing class objectives and the activities to attain those objectives. Space for the goals of the course as well as current concerns is also provided. With this sheet in hand, I enter the sacred space of my colleagues’ classrooms. They have been incredibly gracious, poised, and welcoming. This alone fills me with wonder, as I doubt that I would have been as hospitable to an (ahem) older, “seasoned” member of the faculty taking notes about how I conduct my classes. Once my evaluation was complete, I invited each of my observees to Common Grounds for a cup of coffee and a conversation about teaching.
I must say that I am in awe and humbled by this experience. The courses I observed ran the gamut from learning piano techniques to computer programming. In each and every class I learned something new from my colleagues. I even was able to handle the kitty dissections! I saw dedicated, knowledgeable instructors who were passionate about the content of their courses and equally passionate about educating their students. I observed a variety of teaching methods, ways to gain student participation, and uses of technology in the learning process. The follow-up conversations with my colleagues were stimulating and exciting. The conversations focused on the specifics of their teaching, teaching philosophies and future plans. All were most receptive to my feedback and honestly appreciative of what I had to say. But I know that I was the biggest beneficiary of the experience. The UW-Green Bay community is in good hands with this new generation of faculty. I am honored to be amongst such a gifted and dedicated group of colleagues.
Professor, Human Development