Thanks for visiting “Teaching Prof in Progress!” I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri at Columbia. I currently teach courses in argumentation and public speaking. Prior to this position, I served for 14 years as Professor of Communication Studies at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Besides teaching courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, media studies, and political communication, I served as the Director of the Center for Faculty Enrichment, which provided faculty development resources and programming for teaching and learning, scholarship and professional development. I previously served as division chair for the Fine and Performing Arts Division at Augustana. This position involved serving for six years (two years as chair) on the Faculty Welfare Committee, Augie’s faculty tenure and promotion review committee.
During this time I reviewed countless faculty review portfolios, observed numerous classrooms across a variety of disciplines, and led faculty through the process of formative professional development on the road to tenure and promotion. Besides the reality that there is little formal professional training that prepares one for such a role, I have been struck by how much in the areas of mentoring and professional peer review need to be involved to do this job.
As I prepared to leave Faculty Welfare and take on the position of Director of Faculty Enrichment at Augustana, I found myself navigating a swirling gyre of messages that might be of use to faculty and administrators in higher education interested in faculty development. For myself, there is a point at which bookmarking websites and saving e-mails in folders stops being useful when I want to access and use any of these resources. And I love to share — but tweets and Facebook links only go so far, and perpetually forwarding e-mails to my colleagues and administrative bosses clutters inboxes and can be a bit impolite, frankly.
So I see this blog as a means for sharing what I find in an organized and publicly accessible manner and reflecting on it personally from time to time, as a teacher and as a newly-developing faculty developer. “Teaching Prof in Progress” is a resource that interested parties can follow regularly or visit occasionally as they like (so it’s only as pushy and annoying as you’d like it to be).
Most of the resources I encounter involve how college and university faculty can become better teachers. Within this realm include resources on issues as varied as active learning pedagogies, developmental approaches to student learning, incorporating technology for effective e-learning, student-centered and inquiry-centered learning environments, and so on ad infinitum. But beyond resources on teaching and learning, faculty in higher education can benefit from resources and new perspectives in scholarship opportunities, service and leadership development, and struggling with the perennial work-life balance dilemma.
“Teaching Prof in Progress” — just as this Mizzou prof — is a work in perpetual progress. As I said, I love to share… and I love it when folks share with me! So I invite you to pass along any resources, tips, suggestions, and/or provocative questions that might contribute to this blog.
Those of us who choose teaching in higher education as our professional and personal calling are most effective when we collaborate as a community of learning. So thanks for including this blog in your own community! You can also access additional resources on the blog’s Facebook page and by following the blog on Twitter @TeachProfProg.