One of the most useful things about PAROSL was the opportunity to have extensive conversations about teaching with a colleague over the course of a quarter, with concrete examples in front of us from observing each other’s classes.
Looking at where I started six weeks ago, now, more than ever, I think through my lesson plans. I think of things like inclusivity. I think of student learning objectives. I think about how students’ learning is made visible. So, in that sense, I feel that my teaching and my thinking have shifted. I am more conscious of what I’m doing. It’s not like previously, where I just used to teach and make an assumption that my students have learned what I wanted them to learn. Now, I think of ways to measure that learning and actually think through, has true learning actually taken place?
I have learned a lot about my own teaching practice. It is very difficult to see your own work and practice through fresh eyes. Having taught many of the major assignments in the past, being able to hear how they are interpreted by someone else (especially in a different teaching context) has been super helpful. Being able to observe my colleague’s course gave me insight into the ways in which teaching (and learning) can look from the other side. There were several strategies that I was able to see that my colleague was utilizing in her course that I would really like to implement in my own moving forward. Overall, I think that PAROSL was a very useful and informative process, particularly given the uniqueness of this quarter and the circumstances surrounding it.