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What Do They Do at a Great Teaching Seminar?

What do we all love to do and do so well, faculty? Teach. That was the topic of contemplation and discussion for 48 hours from April 22 through 24, 1993, when around twenty-five teachers from Mission, West Valley, De Anza, Foothill, and Evergreen Valley Colleges gathered in Boulder Creek.

Short papers written by the participants were distributed, and an extra set is available for your perusal in the Mission College Staff Development Office,1. Just to tantalize you, here are a few of the topics you can read about in greater detail:

Teachers from all disciplines, we discussed ideas about great teaching, shared instructional innovations as well as non-astounding teaching devices, proposed solutions to encountered instructional problems, and in general celebrated teaching and learning. It was a pleasure to get to know teachers from different specialties in such a positive light ­ a far cry from the sometimes adversarial positions we find ourselves in when meeting under other circumstances ­ and to learn from those with whom we would not ordinarily have contact. In the end, we succeeded in accomplishing what no committee ever does: after an hour of preparation, three groups each gave a heart-warming and entertaining 5-minute performance on the topic of great teaching.

This Great Teaching Seminar was the second annual one sponsored by the South Bay Six Community Colleges Staff Development Departments. Several other similar conferences are held elsewhere throughout the year. The major one is the California Great Teachers Seminar in Santa Barbara August 1-6, 1993. Our Foundation Board has agreed to fund one participant from Mission, and I encourage all faculty to consider participating. Lee Callaway, our Staff Development Coordinator, reports that applications are being accepted until the end of May.

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