The Teaching Academy (TA) is the pedagogy-specific branch of the Professional Development Program. The Academy promotes the continued development and dissemination of pedagogical tools, methods, and strategies that enhance teaching and learning. By offering workshops, guest speakers, publications, and various other events, the Teaching Academy encourages professional growth through the cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas.
Observing a colleague without the pressures of evaluation can be one of the most valuable experiences an instructor can have. Ever wanted to sit in on a colleague's class to see how they do things? Figured no one had the time, would be interested, etc.? Did you know that we have a program designed just for that purpose and that you (and the colleague you visit) can earn flex credit for participating? Check out our program for doing just that: the Teaching Exchange.
Each semester, the Teaching Academy sponsors workshops specifically designed to foster and disseminate best pedagogical practices. TA-specific flex week workshops are indicated on the schedule by a specific icon; see the schedule available on the main site page.
For a list of TA-specific workshops and presenters from past years, please see the TA archive page.
Engage in relaxed, casual discussion with colleagues about all types of issues: what works and what doesn't in particular situations, online and on-ground, classroom management issues and techniques, "What do you do when...?" Bring a meal or snack and join us for special themed brown bags throughout the semester. Watch for announcements from PDP!
GIFTS: Great Ideas For Teaching
Great Ideas For Teaching: A Collection of GIFTs is a biannual newsletter of best teaching practices developed by MiraCosta's own. It is a collaborative effort of MiraCosta's Writing Center and Teaching Academy.
External Speakers and Other Activities
Occasionally, PDP and the Teaching Academy bring in outside speakers to broaden our horizons and spark new interests and possibilities. Watch for announcements!
Academic Reading Community (ARC)
The ARC embodies the vision of the Teaching Academy by getting to the cross-disciplinary heart of one of our students' most challenging tasks: reading. Are you interested in learning about some of the ways you might improve your students' abilities to contextualize, understand, and retain what they read in your discipline? Want to learn from those trained in the Reading Apprenticeship framework (a nationally recognized program)? The ARC is compiling strategies which help students take more productive notes, become more active readers who think about the content of readings, and become metacognitive about their reading processes so they can adapt from one course to another. The ARC invites interested faculty to join them to build the academic reading skills MiraCosta students need to succeed in our classes.
Watch for announcements for ARC workshops throughout the term!
Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs)
FIGs are small groups of faculty interested in answering specific questions that lead to improvements in teaching, courses, and/or programs. It's an opportunity to engage closely and critically with others to examine what steps should be taken towards the common goal.
At MiraCosta, FIGs have been pioneered by the Student Success Program (SSP; formerly known as Basic Skills). Take a moment to visit their site on FIGs to see examples of what kinds of questions might be used as jumping-off points for FIGs and suggestions for how to proceed.
Program for Online Teaching (POT)
Founded in 2005, the Program for Online Teaching (POT) is an independent, self-contained, volunteer faculty professional development group. Faculty propose, lead, and attend flex activitities relating to the core objective of excellence in online education. As a community of practice, POT members mentor colleagues, share resources and ideas, and offer a certificate of online instruction. Involvement is open to interested faculty at all academic institutions.
POT offers professional development activities relevant to all aspects of online teaching and the top-notch pedagogical offerings richly enhance the Teaching Academy's mission.
Want to contribute?
Do you know of a speaker who has great things to share and who could really help promote the mission of the Teaching Academy? Have a great idea for a TA-specific workshop? Have a great idea for a GIFT? Never hesitate to propose a workshop (doesn't have to be during flex week!) or contact PDP with a seed idea you'd like to grow into something. We'd love to hear your ideas!