Promoting Cultural Competency for a Diverse World

by Lisa Sheldon
December 21, 2015

Each day that students spend on the GCC campus prepares them to meet the challenges of our changing world. As faculty, we impart knowledge and content to students, but at the same time we strive to develop critical thinking skills and communication skills that will enable students to navigate our increasingly complex society. One important […]

Are they paying attention?

by Lisa Sheldon
September 16, 2015
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When we love what we teach, it can be hard to see why students are not equally enthralled. In many cases, we have dedicated our careers to the field and still find it exciting. But, what happens when that passion is not shared by the students? Faculty can start to feel a little disappointed by […]

End of Semester Grading Blues

by Lisa Sheldon
May 16, 2015
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You have probably heard them all before: “Isn’t there some way I can pass the class?” “Maybe you could give me an incomplete?” “I’ll lose my financial aid if you fail me.” “But, I worked real hard.” Toward the end of the semester, faculty receive frenzied emails about grades from students looking for a loophole […]

Making your classroom LGBTQ-friendly

by Lisa Sheldon
May 4, 2015

Bruce Jenner’s recent interview with Diane Sawyer has brought the issue of LGBTQ people around the country and world into the spotlight in a new way. Perhaps it has prompted you to think about how to create an atmosphere of trust, respect, tolerance and comfort for all students in your classes and the wider GCC […]

The Teaching Marathon: Training and Re-Training

by Lisa Sheldon
April 20, 2015
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Teaching is like training for a marathon. Just as the runner is trying to get stronger and faster, the teacher is looking to communicate better and increase what students learn. There are the hours of practice and preparation, trying new techniques and tools and figuring out what to do when things go wrong. And, things […]

Great Student Expectations: A Guide for Faculty

by Lisa Sheldon
March 9, 2015
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Students come to courses with certain baseline expectations of faculty. Chief among these according to Blue Ridge Community College are: Providing opportunities to learn Acting with professionalism Grading fairly and returning work promptly Being accessible to students Communicating in a timely and professional manner At the community college level, we must also be respectful of […]

Embrace Civility in the Classroom

by Lisa Sheldon
February 18, 2015

Teaching is a demanding task. Challenges arise at every turn, which makes it an engaging and dynamic occupation. In addition to worrying about content and learning in our classrooms, we also need to be concerned with classroom dynamics and the erosion of civility. When it comes to promoting classroom etiquette and respect, instructors need to […]

Stimulating Discussions

by Lisa Sheldon
December 1, 2014
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Let’s Discuss Class Discussions Whether we teach online or in-person, we know the value that stimulating classroom discussions can have on student learning. It is an opportunity for students to practice concepts, get clarification and apply new ideas. Getting discussions started and maintaining momentum can be a challenge. We might also have a core group […]

Working with Student Veterans: Moving toward Success!

by Lisa Sheldon
November 7, 2014

It is not just military service that sets student veterans apart from their classmates. According to a 2013 American Council on Education report, they are often the first members of their family to attend college and are often about a decade older than other students. They tend to study harder and are driven to succeed, […]

Facing Mid-semester Doldrums with new Ideas

by Lisa Sheldon
October 31, 2014
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At the mid-semester point, we can start to see and feel fatigue setting in for both our students and ourselves. Finding that spark of creativity and enthusiasm can bring our classes to life and give us the energy to finish the semester as strong as we began. It can be as simple as new discussion […]