While at Virginia Tech, I have had many teaching opportunities. I have developed enormously from my first teaching assignments at Auburn, and continue to explore different teaching approaches within my current practices.
I have also had many places where I have worked on my own teaching skills, thanks to offerings such as the Graduate School’s Preparing Future Professoriate and the Contemporary Pedagogy courses. I personally found such courses to be very useful as they reconnected me with a wider variety of disciplinary perspectives; having all of these different people back in the same room after maturing within their separate disciplines (e.g., counseling, fisheries, communication, mechanical engineering, vet med, history) creates fascinating discussions which show us how much we, as graduate students, have already become products of our educations.
During Fall 2016, I conducted a teaching apprenticeship with Dr. Ashley Shew as part of my iPhD. We co-delivered the Technology and Disability course. This graduate and undergraduate course is designed to introduce students to the material cultures surrounding Disability, the social meaning of “health” technologies, and the lived experiences of those who deploy, resist, and wrestle with technologies aimed at their bodies and minds. As a Teaching Apprentice, I lectured and co-facilitated classroom discussions on such topics as “Disability and Designers” and “Infrastructure: Access Fail Memes to Universally Designed Spaces” in a course with both undergraduate and graduate students. Such presentations have also been shared with a wider audience, especially as related to accessibility in higher education and engineering ethics.
My Diversity Scholar project
proposal involved the co-development and piloting of a new series of sessions – the Inclusive Classroom Series
– for the Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop course. These sessions have been offered each semester, with graduate students from different disciplinary backgrounds self-selecting to participate. These GTAs then meet with each other multiple times over the course of the semester, fostering a sense of community within the group. During the sessions, my co-facilitator (Darren Maczka) and I facilitate discussions about creating inclusive and accessible learning environments, guide our peer in reflecting on their teaching experiences, and develop resources for future use. This workshop draws on activities learned through the Communicating Science course
I was selected as a new Member of the Academy of Graduate Teaching Excellence
and inducted on April 29th, 2015. Academy members are committed to creating inclusive learning environments and improving the experiences of their students. The Academy provides mentoring, programs, networking, and other functions to its members.
North Cross school newspaper article on course (scanned)
I developed the curriculum, assessments, and classroom environment for first year high school students at the North Cross School in Roanoke during the 2014 fall semester. The students enjoyed it so much, they contacted their school newspaper to write an article about the class (see image, left)!
One thing that I worked on was maintaining a constant line of communication with my students, their parents, and the school via email and a class webpage. This class webpage includes many of the class documents that my students had access to over the course of the semester, such as the syllabus.
Student teams developed projects over the course of the semester. They received feedback from individuals affiliated with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
(students, staff, and faculty) in addition to my own assessment of their work. Additionally, my students learned to provide constructive feedback to their peers during different stages of the design process.