Maybe it’s a pup tent – but I think we can all fit.

written by Peg Balachowski

On Sunday, October 26, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Emily Fox Gordon titled “The Meaning of Fulfillment.” Gordon begins, “At 66, I find myself feeling fulfilled. I didn’t expect this, and don’t quite know what to make of it. It’s as if I’ve been given an outlandishly oversize gift.”

She speaks about an almost forgotten fantasy – being the “hostess of an intellectual salon.” Guess what – I have landed that position!

I feel like I am working with some of the best faculty that our profession has to offer. As Alyson noted in her first blog post,” we have identified a common need to rework, revise, and/or revitalize our Teaching and Learning Centers (TLCs).” In January I begin a new phase in my professional life – as the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, and the three additional questions that our FLC wants to investigate,

  1. In what ways can we incentivize professional development for all faculty?
  2. What are sustainable faculty development best practices?
  3. How do you institutionalize professional development practices and policies?

will be my focus for the next several years, and I so appreciate the opportunity to work together to strategize and support each other as we take a critical look at how we can address these big questions. Huber and Hutchings coined the term “the big tent” in 2005 when writing about the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).

Right now we only have a small tent – maybe it’s a pup tent – but I think we can all fit.


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