Vapour Trail: An FLC Grant Update

It’s almost April. If you’ve followed this blog you know that this FLC fell apart. It didn’t go as planned. My best failure of 2014-2015 (as of 3/31/15) shall be heretofore known as co-facilitating this FLC. We’ve made some amazing cross-campus connections that I think will continue to grow, and we’ve established a dialogue with the state board about our consortium. We’ve also witnessed the hiring of two deans who are tasked with the professional learning. I’ve met with amazing people.

As for the products we promised with this grant: I go down fighting. Here’s a movie clip to explain how it feels doing research on Teaching and Learning Centers.

I’m the guy being carried outside yelling I’m not dead yet:

I’m getting better. I think I’ll go for a walk. I feel happy. 

So. Okay. Here’s what we’re doing if you would like to steal it for your own. Tune in sometime in April when I upload the entire grant application. Steal my idea and make it your own. Bring out your dead. 

Until then, I’m doing something that looks like research and it’s going to be a fun way to share some dreams. I promise. That I can do.

Why call it an “Unconference”? Am I trying to be trendy? No. I don’t want to call anything a retreat. And the grant reporting would get weird if I called it “Smart Teacher Party.”

An “Unconference” will fly under the radar because nobody knows what that means.

Here’s the email:


Hello Brilliant Educator,

Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning and Alyson Indrunas, Director for eLearning and Instructional Design would like to invite you to the FLC UnConference 2015 at Everett Community College explore Big Questions about Teaching and Learning. We have an FLC grant exploring our need to rebrand our Teaching and Learning Center after the creation of the new Dean position and the expansion of our eLearning Department. We are changing the direction of our FLC a bit, and we’d like to add your voice to conversation.

Our goal will be to have a day of positive conversation where we can establish a network with like-minded colleagues within the system who are interested in meaningful professional learning for all faculty. We’ve selected you because we think you can help us and we want to learn from you. We are in the process of solidifying our plans but we would like to ask you to hold the date and let us know if you are interested in attending.

Our grant will pay for your food and travel, but we hope our Big Questions are incentive enough for you to join us.

Thank you for considering!

We hope to hear from you,

Peg & Alyson


Faculty Learning Community UnConference Spring 2015 Agenda

The Where: Everett Community College

The When: May 8, 2015, 9:00am-4:00pm

The Who: Awesome SBCTC Educators

The What: Building/Sustaining Teaching & Learning Centers (only we don’t want to call it a TLC. We need a new name).

The Why: Alyson and Peg Need Your Brilliance

The How: Come-Ready-To-Work

Funding Provided by SBCTC FLC Grant:

breakfast, lunch, snacks, travel costs included

BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

  1. What do you do at your college (and how well does it work)?
  2. What do you wish you did differently?
  3. What do you do to incentivize professional learning (for FT and PT)?
  4. What would you like to learn from your colleagues?
  5. What would professional learning look like on your campus if nobody could say no to your ideas?

I ask everyone #5 these days. Everyone I know who cares about teaching. I don’t want to hear about the barriers. What you can’t do. What you don’t like. I want to hear your dreams. Chances are I’m dreaming about that too. Maybe there is a vapour trail that I’m not seeing that you can help me see. Show me the way.

If nobody could say no, would you find the vapour trail to your dreams for teaching and learning? Yes. Yes, you would.

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