The Centre for Academic Excellence is currently hosting a series of organizational meetings on each both Windsor & Thames Campuses to Launch the Fall 2017 Teaching Circles Program.
The Teaching Circles program provides faculty an opportunity to gain new insight into their teaching through a non-evaluative process of reciprocal classroom observation and self-reflection. Faculty members in each “teaching circle” agree to visit each other’s classes over the course of a semester and then meet to discuss what they’ve learned from their observations and reflections.
Teaching Circles are meant to spark and support personal reflection rather than peer evaluation. Participants focus conversations on what they’ve learned about their own teaching from the observation process and avoid direct commentary on their colleagues’ performance.
In reflective learning, it becomes essential for you to become critically reflective of the assumptions underlying your personal intentions, values, beliefs, and feelings regarding teaching and learning. By observing others while they teach you will gain greater insight into other styles, techniques, and interactions that will aide you in reflecting on your own teaching. By the end of your reflective process, you will likely have some good ideas about specific implications for your own teaching practice.
The goal is to encourage a respectful, safe, mutually-supportive experience for all involved. Participants are encouraged to approach the process in a spirit of appreciation – even celebration – of the work of their colleagues.
Faculty commit to the following activities
Finding partners-in-crime (typically from those registering to participate - both NEW and Experienced Faculty are invited and welcome to participate),
Attending an organization meeting to review logistics, schedule observations, and clarify details as needed. (approximately 1hr),
Visiting each other’s classes at least twice during the experience,
Meeting again, this time over lunch at the Eatery 101 at the end of the semester for a follow-up discussion (approximately 1hr).