This year (2015-16) I was honored to be part of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellows program, where I’ve been able to hone my teaching skills. Through teaching other graduate students through workshops, I have gained a greater appreciation for different teaching environments and techniques. It’s been very helpful to be in an environment where I can be explicitly reflective on my teaching, and where I can discuss issues with others. I hope that I can find these spaces in the future for me to continue to think about teaching critically, and find a community of people to share that experience with.
As part of the fellowship I was enrolled in ALS 6015 Teaching in Higher Education for fall 2015. Through this course I was forced (happily!) to think deliberately and critically about my perceptions of higher education teaching in general, and about the specific skills and practice of teaching at this level. I was surprised to find I had strong feelings about certain things, such as how to assess class participation, and was able to flesh them out through developing a rubric. Though I’ve generally felt comfortable conversing and thinking about teaching, this course provided me with a foundation of terminology, theory and concepts that I feel have prepared me to have more substantive discussions about teaching in HE. I look forward more opportunities such as this where I can build on this foundation going forward in my career.