In what areas have I shown growth since I started teaching, and why?
- I’ve become much more flexible and adaptive in my teaching style. Instead of forcing my students through a rigid plan for each day’s learning, I make a loose plan. I make sure to ask lots of questions and walk around the room to figure out where my students are at with the content, then focus on the parts that they most need my support for. I’ve been able to do this partially because I have taught the same classes multiple times and developed multiple ways of teaching the material, but also because technology helps me to easily post materials for my students so that I can ensure they access all the material even when we run out of time and can’t cover everything in class.
- I’ve gotten better at paying attention to the needs of each individual student by regularly looking over the class list and reflecting on the needs of each student. It isn’t always easy to meet those needs, but the number of students attending office hours regularly and improving throughout the course has definitely increased compared to last year. I described the major ways I’m doing this in the advising/mentoring section of this document.
- The research-based lab curriculum I piloted in Fall 2016 forced me to really trust my students with a lot of responsibility, and I’m learning that students can and will respond to that level of trust and do amazing work. I think I’ve just started growing in this direction, but I’m trying to create opportunities to trust students with high level responsibilities in other classes while supporting them appropriately. Reading Apprenticeship routines are helping me to support students while allowing them independence.
I have received impressive support from the college, which has paid for me to attend a number of professional development events. I am grateful for the faculty and administrators who have patiently explained concepts and acronyms and helped develop my confidence and knowledge to help me become an effective team player on committees and work groups.
One further support that would be invaluable to me and to all the other science instructors would be to hire a part time lab technician to help maintain our lab inventory, ensure that safety guidelines for chemical storage and disposal are in place, and assist instructors with setting up complex equipment and culturing microbes that have strict time requirements. I discussed this need with my supervisor and colleagues, developed a job description and cost estimate, and submitted a request to the Vice President of Instruction in June 2016. We hope to hear from the Cabinet about a decision.
Selected Activities and Achievements
- Teaching and Learning National Institute team participant, Summer 2016
- RTC awarded “Engaging Adjunct Faculty in the Student Success Movement” grant for $160,000; major contributor to grant application and grant work, Summer 2016 (2 year work plan)
- ComGen (Community College Genomics Research Initiative) Summit attendee, Summer 2016
- Awarded Title 3 Mini-grant, Renton Technical College Fall 2015
- Quality Matters Master Reviewer Certification, Spring 2015
- NW Biology Teachers Conference, Spring 2016 (group presenter), and 2015 (attendee)
- Achieving the Dream Annual Conference, Winter 2016
- Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education Fellow (2015-16) and continuing member
- National Association of Biology Teachers Conference, Fall 2014 (presenter) and 2013 (attendee)
- Exceptional Faculty Award, Renton Technical College Fall 2014
- Pioneered first hybrid life sciences course at RTC, Winter 2013
- Dissected my first cadaver and took charge of specimen ordering for Anatomy & Physiology courses at RTC, Fall 2013
- Quality Matters Peer Reviewer Certification, Summer 2012
- Applying the Quality Matters Rubric Course, Summer 2012
- Assessment, Teaching and Learning Conference, Vancouver WA Spring 2012
- RTC Online Inservice, Winter 2012 (participant) and Winter 2013 (presenter)
- Copyright for Educators, Fall 2012
- Introduction to the Reading Apprenticeship Framework, WestEd, Fall 2011