16 The Joy in Connecting

Stacey Curdie

My CPLC Experience

As always, the very first thing that comes to mind when asked to reflect on the experience of working with large numbers of colleagues from across units or institutions is the profound sense of joy in connecting with others. I’ve met and befriended colleagues I may never have otherwise spoken to. I’ve wondered and questioned and commiserated and worried along with others who had similar wonders, questions, complaints, and fears.

It takes a great deal more bravery than one might imagine for people, particularly the many Type A personalities who become university instructors, to relinquish the control we feel we need to do our jobs well. Attempting to rethink how we approach what gives us our identity is challenging. Doing it in the company of others of similar mind is comforting, more effective, and yes, joyful!

We are all here because we love what we do. It’s good to be reminded of that. I’m going to be a better teacher because of what I learned in the CPLC. As an online learning evangelist, I have long advocated many of the tenets of UDL, constructivist learning, student choice, and project based learning. But this summer, I’ve expanded my definition of open, gathered the courage to risk giving up control, and am excited to teach in an immersive PBL environment. I’m really looking forward to having frank conversations with students about the format of the course, the reasons behind it, and the Habits of Mind.

Long ago and far away, I taught First Year Seminar – but I never did a very good job trying to teach critical thinking discretely. The Habits of Mind resonate much more with me as does activating awareness of the HoMs via PBL. I’m excited to give this a try!

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