In Their Own Words

Fellows’ Advice for Fellows

In November, I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with more than 50 of the fellows who were participating with Faculty Guild in the fall of 2018. I learned so much about their experiences, their challenges and their aspirations—far more than could fit in one blog post. 

So, I’d like to focus on a sampling of the responses they gave to one of my favorite questions: “What advice do you have for future fellows?” 

Our Fellows’ Suggestions:

“The more you invest, the more you'll get out of it. You will reap MORE than you sow.” 

“You will have to think in-depth about what you're doing, even if you've been teaching for decades. Be honest with yourself—the good, the bad and the ugly—and be willing to listen to other perspectives.”

“It's important to understand that this IS going to take time, but that it will be very valuable. In fact, the best reflections I did were on the weeks I really didn't want to do it at all!”

“Front-load your week! Things back up if you wait too long to post your reflection. The sooner you can do the work in the week the better.”

“Be open. That would be the main thing. Be open to what is being asked of you and be open to the other members' comments and feedback.”

“I was very apprehensive. I was already so busy, and I thought a lot of pedagogical theory was going to be shoved down my throat. But that wasn't how it was at all. It’s not forced on you. It’s open. It's up to you.”

Food for Thought 

At Faculty Guild, this is a particularly timely topic—we’ve just welcomed new cohorts for this spring term—but I believe these suggestions have a broader application. Whether you’re embarking on a sustained practice of reflection like that offered by Faculty Guild, or a more short-term professional development workshop, I hope you will take some of this to heart.