I want to invite you to join me in an exciting professional development opportunity, designed specifically for you as a teacher at the University of Saskatchewan.
Transforming Teaching is an opportunity for you to connect with other faculty and instructors on campus to explore the foundational aspects of teaching at the university level. We will explore a number of themes such as teacher identity, syllabus creation, assessment, teaching strategies, threshold concepts, and other topics related being a successful teacher. While this may be of particular interest to those who are relatively new in their academic careers, the content is of benefit to instructors at any career stage. We will draw on you to help identify topics you want to learn about. One thing the pandemic taught us is that teaching can be full of surprises and challenges we never anticipated. Transforming Teaching will give all of us a chance to anticipate, to reflect, and be able to respond to the many challenges and opportunities we will face in our teaching careers.
Beginning in September, the term-long course meets every week to review a specific theme, engage in hands-on activities, discuss current experience, and share collective wisdom. The meetings are safe places to discuss what is happening in the experiences of individual instructors. There is plenty of opportunity to learn from each other and explore pressing issues for those developing their teaching skills. A small number of readings and activities take place outside of the meeting sessions but there is no homework. But we do ask you to commit to the entire course and attend all meetings so you can experience the most benefit and help us create a network of teacher/scholars from disciplines across the University of Saskatchewan.
Transforming Teaching - Fall Term 2023
This course will be held in-person, Friday afternoons from 2:00-3:30pm. Sessions will be in the new SoTL Centre classroom, located in the Education Building.
The next Transforming Teaching series will be led by Jay Wilson.
Dr. Jay Wilson is a professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. He works to support the understanding and growth of pre-service and in-service teachers and professors through his service and scholarship. Dr. Wilson’s program of research centers on innovative learning design, online teaching and learning, and experiential learning assessment.
He teaches in the areas of high school curriculum, assessment, program evaluation, technology and multimedia, and video production. Jay’s teaching has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally in many ways including the 2017 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the University of Saskatchewan Master Teacher Award (2015), the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education D2L Innovation Award (2012), University of Saskatchewan’s Outstanding New Teacher Award (2010), and as an Apple Distinguished Educator (2011).
Teaching, at its most elegant, grows through dialogue and conversation, whether it is with students, peers, or mentors. Our hope is to build a community of teachers within this course who will learn from and inspire each other through discussions and applications of teaching beliefs, values, approaches, strategies, and experiences. We call this “transformation” because this course is about growth, change, and lifelong learning.
Great teachers are passionate teachers who inspire their learners, but they are also driven by a desire to continually transform themselves, no matter their level of expertise, into the best teachers they can possibly be.
The following comments have been sent to us from Transforming Teaching participants:
"For many people at the start of their academic career it's difficult to find the time to devote to developing the essential skills that will help transform you from scholar and expert in your field to teacher and enabler of students to enter that field. The Transforming Teaching course at the Gwenna Moss simply provides a comfortable, structured space to exchange with your peers, your fellow new faculty, the hopes, fears, secret weaknesses, emerging strengths and common experiences from the day-to-day of your new classes. The course is guided with a touch by a dynamic duo of instructors each with their own range of insights, techniques, wisdom and humility to share. The work done in class and outside is always at the service of the group's needs while organised around a lattice of practical and elemental issues facing new university teachers. I began the course needing to exteriorise, recognise, confront and accept all the anxieties and doubts that rattle around in my head when I am alone with and in my class. I completed the course chastened, heartened, emboldened and convinced of how much I am unlike any other teacher and how much I am just the same, and knowing that that's okay. In front of my class I am still a novice but I am not afraid to be that novice. I no longer feel so alone in my classes. I hope I will enjoy such company as the course provided in some other way, at some other time, again."
"Overall, this has been a very positive experience for me. It has reaffirmed what I love about teaching and those areas I need to work on. I liked being a student again. Thanks!"
"I have found the course readings and the assignments most beneficial. The readings have been diverse, engaging and of a reasonable length. The assignments have been challenging but I see that as a good aspect. I have had to examine (and reexamine) and reflect on my teaching-which is very fruitful for me."
"I really liked the assignments. They helped me examine what I think about teaching and how I view myself as a teacher. They were creative and structured-a very difficult balance to achieve."
"I have taken various teaching-related workshops offered by the Gwenna Moss Centre which were all very useful on a practical level, but what TT gave me was very different from the practical approaches learned those workshops (and much appreciated because of this). It was a chance on a regular basis to reflect on teaching, share ideas, fears and excitement with others in a similar position to myself, and with a similar passion for teaching. That's not to say it wasn't practical because it was and I learned many tools during the course, but it was more than practical. The course participants and instructors were a source of support and I was encouraged to reflect on myself as a teacher and on teaching in general. I can honestly say that I will take TT with me everywhere I go as I walk down my path as a university teacher."
This course is targeted to support term or tenure-track faculty, sessional lecturers, and post-doctoral fellows in their early years of teaching. While all are welcome, priority is given to term and tenure-track faculty in the first three years of their appointment.
Enrollment is limited, apply early!
Questions and completed registration forms can be shared with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, email@example.com.