Reflection is key to my success. Life gives little time for this. Friday night is my deadline.
I just completed hosting new faculty week at my school. It was a great experience designing a week to get our new faculty to experience the mission and philosophy. I read a number of articles going into the week about orientation — how they were supposed to transmit the culture of a school. Transmission, come on. I don’t need to pour the knowledge into their brains. How will I know what they are ready to do if I talk at them for hours on end? We designed lesson with objectives and held ourselves to the standard of how we want their classes to look for students. They were out of their seat, exploring, asking questions, making connections, do authentic work, learning through real life examples. The addition this year was an exit ticket – not your standard “give us feedback” fare. We listed objectives of the week. They rated themselves from “I’m solid on this” to ” I need a refresher” to “I never heard of this.” My team can take this data and determine the next steps for each — personalized orientation. This is where the stretch starts for my group. Our goal is not transmission, you see, but rather achievement. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I need to thank my team and those who owned the parts of the week for their thoughtful implementation of the format. It takes a lot to plan active learning. I also need to thank the previous Dean of Faculty who helped us break away from the traditional format (we experimented with a flipped video iteration the previous year). While the flipped format wasn’t the right instructional method for this project, trying it helped us get to a better experience. And of course there’s a big thank you to the current leadership at my school for continuing to be open to the best way to do things for the faculty.