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Faculty share their teaching savvy

Jaye Houston, interim director of community service, presented “Teaching Community Service Online: From ‘No’ to ‘Yes!’” at the Celebration of Teaching Nov. 14 in the Campus Center. Houston discussed how teaching community service online is as beneficial as a face-to-face experience, despite most people’s negative views about the online instruction. Naomi Wakins, associate professor of education, was also a featured speaker. / photo by Nicole Ambrose

Jaye Houston, interim director of community service, presented “Teaching Community Service Online: From ‘No’ to ‘Yes!’” at the Celebration of Teaching Nov. 14 in the Campus Center. Houston discussed how teaching community service online is as beneficial as a face-to-face experience, despite most people’s negative views about the online instruction. Naomi Watkins, associate professor of education, was also a featured speaker. / photo by Nicole Ambrose

Michael Saakyan
Staff Writer

Twelve University of La Verne faculty from a variety of disciplines gathered at the Campus Center Ballroom to present their approaches to teaching excellence before students and colleagues for the Celebration of Teaching event on Nov. 15.

“It gave me insight into how imagination takes over the professor because they don’t just want to teach hum-drum classes,” said Corinne Medina of the Office of Diversity and Inclusivity. “They want to maintain curiosity and interest by the students.”

Gail Tang, assistant professor of mathematics, explained how incorporating fun activities helps students who may not like math. Tang said she used a Bingo-like game called LOG-O to grab the attention of her students. Although students had fun with the mathematical game, some had difficulty grasping to the work involved, she said.

Professor of Education Nancy Walker’s presentation dealt with helping students get the most from their readings – beyond just what is required for success on tests.

Walker’s presentation was called “A Penny for Your Thoughts: Making Disciplinary Reading Processes Transparent through Think-Alouds.”

“Some teachers are focused on covering their content,” Walker said. “There’s just so much information (teachers) want students to know because so much of testing is focused on content and not process.”

“I think the (event) is a really good forum to open discussions across disciplines,” Tang said. “You see commonalities, like when Nancy Walker was talking about the think-alouds, I thought ‘Oh, that’s connected to everything I was saying.’”

Tang said she decided to participate this year because she was inspired by last year’s event.

“You always get these ideas that you normally wouldn’t get if you are only talking about in your discipline,” she said.

The event was organized by Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Al Clark and hosted by Associate Provost Beatriz Gonzalez.

“There was very good energy in the room because we get really excited to talk about things we love,” Gonzalez said. “(It) is an excellent opportunity to honor the people who do the heavy lifting here, the people who are the core of the institution who enable our students to succeed … it’s very motivational and inspirational,” she said.

Other presenters included Jaye Houston, interim director of community service, Professor of Biology Christine Broussard, assistant professors of eduction Denise Kennedy and Lisa Looney, Professor of Communications Don Pollock, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Sean Dillon, Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Kat Weaver, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Sarah Dunn and Professor of Biology Stacey Darling-Novak.

Michael Saakyan can be reached at murad.saakyan@laverne.edu.

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