As we close the books on the academic year, we are taking stock of what we’ve learned, and planning for the coming year. Our programs always strive to reflect the current moment, as we adjust to the needs of each year of teaching. 2021–22 was the year of being “back again” on campus, of teaching with masks, and of getting used to being together in the classroom again. Perhaps none of the Bok Center’s programs felt more responsive to these new circumstances than the Pedagogy Fellows. Each year, approximately 34 experienced graduate students from 29 departments and programs come together at the Bok Center to support their peers by leading pedagogy seminars and workshops, developing resources on teaching and professional development, and consulting with TFs.
How could the Pedagogy Fellows support graduate students teaching in person when they themselves had perhaps only taught online? How could we help them in their work to support instructors making these transitions during such an uncertain time? How could we (re)build a sense of community with the cohort in person, and how could Pedagogy Fellows in turn build community in their home departments after so many months of being apart? We provided a forum to think through these questions with the Fellows as we all acclimated to being together again in the same classroom space.
We were able to build on what we learned during the remote year, continuing to make adjustments to the curriculum, meeting more frequently, using new tools to share information, like Padlet and Google Jamboard, and trying out strategies for building community, including our PF Playlist that we play at the start of each meeting. We continued to develop our use of “shop talk,” in which we curate and share a selection of the victories and challenges the Fellows have submitted in their biweekly reports at the start of each group meeting. Shop talk enables us to surface salient topics that others might benefit from discussing, increase transparency around the work we do, and build a spirit of collaboration and shared goals. We learn so much from each cohort about the landscape of teaching across the FAS, and our experiences inform our work across the Bok Center.
Each year the Fellows complete a capstone assignment to showcase the work they have done, reflect and learn from each other, and share their work with their departments and the broader teaching community. We are excited to share their work through the Pedagogy Fellow Capstone Gallery, which continues to expand with each cohort and stands as a testament to the creativity and energy that the PFs bring to the curriculum. We look forward to welcoming the new cohort of Pedagogy Fellows in August and to the questions the new year will bring, as we continue our collaborations with departments and graduate students across the FAS.