Teaching Squares

EXTENDED DEADLINE Spring semester Teaching Square Applications are due by Friday, February 7th


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
  • appreciation
  • 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. Submit your application via the online form or download the PDF to submit via email.

Teaching square participants commit to attending an initial meeting at the start of the semester.

Week 3Square IntroductionsMeet your square at the TLC to discuss expectations, plan a preliminary schedule, and ask any last questions.
Week 4Finalize schedule and exchange materialsConfirm your visit times and pass on any relevant course materials (such as a syllabus) to your partners.
Weeks 5 – 9Class visitsVisit one class of each of your square partners and record what you observe.
Week 10Self-reflectionLook back over your observation notes in preparation for the Square Share.
Week 11Square ShareMeet (over a meal?) with your square to share your reflections.

Now Available from the College of DuPage Digital Press: Teaching Squares Handbook