2014-15 NEW FACULTY LUNCH SERIES (pdf)
All new faculty are welcome to join these 12:00-1:00 p.m. programs in Memorial 331 (lunch is provided). You will receive an invitation before each program from Susan Bennett in the Provost and Dean of Faculty Office (x5399).
Monday • September 22 - Identity in the Classroom REGISTER HERE
The teaching and learning dynamic is intricately related to our personal identities, both for students and for faculty. We will consider research on how the classroom experience can vary according to factors such as gender, age, socioeconomic status, physical ability, ethnicity, and nationality. We will talk about some of the conversations around this topic that have taken place at Whitman recently and discuss some concrete principles for helping all students succeed, for attending to our own unique needs as faculty members, and for creating a campus culture that values the recognition of these differential experiences. Co-facilitated with Brooke Vick, Associate Professor of Psychology.
POSTEPONED - to be rescheduled Thursday • September 25 - Navigating the Tenure-Track Job Market (for visiting faculty) Baker Center, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
We are thankful to our visiting faculty for all the contributions you bring to us at Whitman, especially as we know most of you are also engaged in the time-consuming work of looking for long-term positions. At this informal wine and cheese gathering, faculty who have served on numerous search committees offer strategies for interpreting job ads, writing strong cover letters, and interviewing.
Monday • October 6 - Mid-Term Evaluations and Other Ways to Find out What Students are Getting out of Class
By the end of the semester, it is often too late to get meaningful feedback that would allow us to make changes in what we're doing. We'll discuss different kinds of evaluations we can give to students to get that feedback as well as what we should do with them. We'll also talk about other quick ways (e.g., minute papers, muddiest point) to find out what students are learning so that we can adapt our teaching.
Monday • November 3 - Becoming a Teacher-Scholar
The process of becoming a teacher-scholar requires reflection and planning. While we often think of the documents we have to submit for tenure or annual review as providing provide evidence of our accomplishments, they are equally helpful in enabling us to reflect on our progress and plan for future development. We'll talk about concrete things we can be doing throughout the year to chart our goals and progress as teachers and scholars, learn about writing groups that foster scholarly productivity, and introduce you to our staff who can support you in grant writing and other professional activity.
Monday • December 1 - How to Interpret Your Course Evaluations
The evaluations students fill out are most useful to faculty members when they are informed by other kinds of evidence of what students are learning (e.g., papers, exams, classroom discussions) and when they are viewed over time (looking for consistent patterns, the effect of specific changes to a course, etc.). Senior faculty members will share samples of their own student evaluations, discuss strategies for interpreting them in order to identify their strengths and areas for improvements, and offer tips for approaching evaluations while keeping self-esteem intact. Facilitated by Helen Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology and Janis Breckenridge, Associate Professor of Spanish.
Monday • January 26 - Teaching Writing: Strategies and Support
Writing is a complex skill to teach, but also a fulfilling part of our roles as teachers. We'll discuss ways to help students broaden their understanding of writing as a process, and ways that the student tutors at the Writing Center or fellows from the Written and Oral Communication Initiative (WOCI) can support your efforts. Facilitated by Lydia McDermott, Director of the Writing Center, and Dana Burgess, Director of WOCI.
Monday • March 2 - Connecting to What Students are Learning Outside of the Classroom
One of the things that can lead to "significant learning" is showing students the connection between course concepts and experiences students have outside of the classroom. These connections motivate students to learn and help them see how course material applies to a range of contexts. In this session we'll talk about ways to help students integrate what they're learning with other parts of their college experience. We'll also suggest ways that faculty can help students prepare to apply their academic knowledge to internships and other professional opportunities. Guests Noah Leavitt, Director of the Student Engagement Center and Matt Reynolds, Associate Professor of Art History.
Monday • April 20 - The Juggling Act: Strategies for Balancing Teaching, Research, Service, and Life.
Am I spending enough time on my research? Not enough on my teaching? Is serving on this committee going to spell disaster for my scholarly agenda? Most academics never quite feel that they can strike just the right "balance." But there are certainly things that we can do to feel more fulfilled and focused. We'll discuss some general findings about what makes for high job satisfaction among professors as well as share some tips on specific things we can do to get better at juggling. Guests include Michelle Janning, Professor of Sociology.
*For tenure-track faculty: Monday, May 4, 12-1, Memorial 305: Informational Meeting regarding the informal review that takes place Fall 2015.
Other Events of Interest to Faculty
TUESDAY • September 16 • 12-12:50 pm in Baker Center (Note: date changed)
Does Discipline Matter in Teaching?
Designed as an informal discussion at tables, this lunch will give you the chance to share your thoughts on the extent to which academic discipline is important in how we develop our teaching techniques. Do principles of effective teaching transcend discipline? Do artists, chemists, or philosophers speak the same language when it comes to talking about teaching?