Over the Spring 2015 semester I participated in a workshop on teaching through CETL at Georgia Tech. The course was geared toward postdocs who plan to become faculty members in the near future and want some foundation to develop their teaching style. I highly recommend enrolling in this series to anyone considering becoming faculty!
I originally looked into taking a teaching course for a few reasons:
- I was looking to meet and connect with other postdocs at Georgia Tech (we seem to be few and far-between)
- I wanted to have more opportunities lecturing to students and build teaching experience
- The course focused on Active Learning methods which were very appealing to me and I wanted to equip myself with these tools
For the most part, we followed the structure of our textbook “How Learning Works” by Ambrose, et al. which guided us through “student-centric” principles to being an effective educator and most importantly, helping your students be effective learners. Each week, a pair of students were assigned to present a “lecture” on the next chapter of the book.
Traditional lecturing was discouraged and we were expected to use engaging activities to assist the discovery and learning process in the students. In addition to the book chapters, we also gave two 20 min. microlessons toward the end of the course on a subject matter from our disciplines. These mini-lessons incorporated all the strategies we learned to that point, and challenged us to develop active learning strategies with technical material that we would likely teach in the future.
Lastly, we had a couple classes on refining our personal teaching statements and a few on course design. These were very helpful for focusing our personal goals for educating and incorporating those visions into future developed curriculum. Overall, I was very happy to have completed this course and I look forward to using the methods in my future teaching career!