CLAS Teaching Showcase brews a brainstorm

Anya Zentmeyer

Grand Valley State University’s CLAS Teaching Showcase, held Tuesday, had a “surprising” turnout, said Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Fred Antczak.

For the first ever dry run of the event, Antczak said the pioneering initiative led by associate dean Jan Joseph was expected to bring out 50 to 55 faculty.

Antczak said the team was delighted by the response – almost 90 of GVSU’s crew of CLAS professors crowded around a series of roundtables led by a “faculty innovator” who chose the topic of discussion for the group.

“That so many CLAS faculty made time— at a busy moment of the semester, during a compressed holiday week— to focus on teaching shows their commitment, theirs and their colleagues’, to doing whatever is necessary to provide GVSU students the very best education,” Antczak said.

Antczak said the chief purpose behind the event was essentially to get teachers involved in discussion that would spark further innovation for the teaching methods of the CLAS professors – a way to get the new ideas flowing and enacted within the vast world of liberal arts.

He said although the faculty does benefit from the professional development, the long term beneficiaries of the new “teaching showcase” are the students.

Above all else, Antczak said he hoped the teaching showcase gave some extra momentum to a college-wide conversation about teaching and how to sustain, engage and revitalize constantly in a profession that has managed to endure and intends on enduring still.

“I know it’s corny to say, but in our work with students, we’re engaged in a noble profession,” he said. “A day of good teaching ideas, in tandem with the great work that Dr. (Christine) Rener is doing in leading FTLC, can recharge us, not just for this semester but for the long run.”

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