So here we are, the last Tuesday of the Fall 2020 semester… Let’s face it, just the fact that you are still here (and reading my Tuesday message) is a major win!
There is no teaching tip from me to you this week; instead I wanted to offer kudos to you, one and all, for surviving one heck of a year.
But as I was watching the first “Ditch Summit” video this morning (see last week’s Tech Tuesday post), one thing that stood out to me was the suggestion that perhaps it is time for us to gravitate toward the notion of thriving, rather than merely surviving, in this COVID-and-beyond environment. The more I considered it, the more I realized how much evidence there has been among my CGCC colleagues of growth (personal and professional), dedication to students and their learning, and continued excellence in spite of – or perhaps because of – the pandemic. So, I hope that you’ll allow me to share just a few of the positives that I’ve observed over these last nine months:
In March, in the face of the uncertainty of a global pandemic, faculty (along with the rest of the college staff) dug in their heels to support students and ensure the successful completion of the semester for as many as possible. This included not only wading into the waters of remote instruction for many who never expected to teach in that mode, but also unprecedented levels of flexibility and patience while undergoing a constant barrage of life and policy shifts.
Over the summer, hundreds of CGCC faculty (many of whom were working full-time jobs in addition to participating) undertook the Base Camp training to prepare for anticipated continuing challenges. I observed as participants bonded with colleagues in their Base Groups, those with more experience mentored those with less experience, confidence was gained, new skills were discovered, and for many, a new appreciation and enthusiasm for online instruction took root.
This Fall, Jennifer Peterson and I hosted nearly a dozen Live Online… Live! (LOL) sessions. One big win, in my view, has been the number of faculty who have generously given of their own time, experience, and expertise to share with the rest of the CGCC community. Whether you volunteered as facilitators, panelists, or contributed by sharing viewpoints in general discussion, we greatly appreciate all of you!
As this semester draws to a close, I have the following holiday wishes for each and every one of you:
After the holidays, “playdates” for brainstorming and practice will help put your mind more at ease, and will allow for time to socialize with colleagues.
And never forget, help and resources are always available, if you know where to look - lean on your colleagues, your friends from Base Camp, and your CTLA.
Awesome people who want to help you do awesome stuff in the classroom! Join the conversation here or in our Facebook Group: CGCC Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment