What is a Teaching Square?
Teaching Squares provide an opportunity for faculty members to expand their practice by learning from colleagues. A teaching square consists of four faculty members, each committed to visiting the other members’ classes at least once. After all observations are complete, the group reconvenes to discuss what they have learned.
Teaching squares are non-evaluative – there are no rubrics, no assessments, no critiques. Instead, the process is designed to turn your focus inward – what can you adopt or adapt from your fellow instructors? How might others’ teaching styles and methods impact your own practice?
Why should I participate?
When was the last time you watched someone teach or took the time to consider your own instructional practice? Modeled on successful programs at other institutions, including Stonehill College, teaching squares at COD are guided by four principles:
- reciprocity and shared responsibility
- self-referential reflection
- mutual respect
When applied to a teaching square, these principles allow faculty to observe, analyze and celebrate good teaching. Participants return to their own classrooms with exciting ideas for renewing their practice and connections with colleagues across disciplines.
Who can participate?
All COD faculty – full-time and adjunct – are welcome to participate. Teaching squares are most successful when they consist of faculty with various levels of experience from a range of disciplines. You will most likely be grouped with instructors from different disciplines and divisions
How do I get started?
Teaching squares are facilitated through the Faculty Professional Development program by FPD Coordinator Jennifer Kelley and Professor Julia diLiberti.
Teaching square participants commit to attending an initial meeting at the start of the semester.
|Week 5||Square Introductions||Meet your square at the TLC to discuss expectations, plan a preliminary schedule, and ask any last questions.|
|Week 6||Finalize schedule and exchange materials||Confirm your visit times and pass on any relevant course materials (such as a syllabus) to your partners.|
|Weeks 7 – 11||Class visits||Visit one class of each of your square partners and record what you observe.|
|Week 12||Self-reflection||Look back over your observation notes in preparation for the Square Share.|
|Week 13||Square Share||Meet (over a meal?) with your square to share your reflections.|