Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) professors Christa Baiada, John Beaumont, Nancy Derbyshire and Jeff Gonzalez have been awarded the Diana Hacker Award in the category of Fostering Student Success at the Two-Year College English Association (TCEA).
The group earned the award for their presentation, The BMCC Teaching Academy: Building a Teaching College One Cohort at a Time, during the TCEA conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in October 2015.
Baiada, an associate professor of English and one of four Master Teachers in the 2015 BMCC Teaching Academy, worked with a cohort of four teaching fellows from different departments at the college. Baiada said her role was to encourage and facilitate the fellows’ reflection of and experimentations in their teaching.
"I listened and observed and tried to reflect back to the fellows about what happens in the classroom,” she said. "I invited the fellows to observe my teaching and comment on what they saw that might help me enhance my own teaching."
The BMCC Teaching Academy is a four-semester professional development program for faculty members new to BMCC and/or new to teaching. Participating faculty are placed into a teaching community of up to four teaching fellows under the guidance of a master teacher. The teaching community members meet regularly, observe each other teaching, videotape their own teaching, discuss common readings and attend workshops together. As the capstone feature of the program, each Teaching Fellow produces a presentation or paper for publication based on research they did in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Professor Beaumont, Director of the BMCC Teaching Academy, said the academy supports new faculty where traditionally there is very little support.
“The expectation is for them to publish scholarly work and do other activities within the college and professionally,” he said. "They’re also expected to be competent as teachers, yet very few of them have had formal pedagogical training. So the Teaching Academy allows new faculty members to look at their teaching and explore what they’re doing through reflection, peer observation and non-judgmental feedback from a teaching community; a group of four to five teachers including one Master Teacher that they’re working with.”
By the end of two years in the Teaching Academy, participants will be able to have increased awareness of classroom events, behaviors, and attitudes; engage in non-judgmental reflection and feedback on teaching and learning; engage in multimodal teaching and become more confident as teachers.