The Junior Faculty Conversations on Teaching are designed to provide faculty in their first years at BC an opportunity to reflect on their teaching in conversation with colleagues from across the university. These informal, lunchtime sessions are held throughout the academic year and focus on a different broad topic or question each month. Faculty are welcome to attend as few or as many of the lunches as they would like.
Making Sense of Course Evaluations
Wednesday, January 31, 12:00-1:00
Course evaluations are meant to be tools to help faculty identify areas for improvement in their teaching. But making sense of what can often feel like contradictory feedback from our students can be a challenge. In this conversation, we’ll discuss strategies for analyzing the sometimes unclear feedback we get from students and for prioritizing how we choose to respond to it.
Finding the Balance: Teaching, Research, . . . Life?
Thursday, March 15, 12:00-1:00
One consequence of the current push to continuously expand the boundaries of “excellence” in higher education is that faculty find themselves needing to meet higher and higher expectations for research productivity, teaching quality, and service to the institution. This leaves many faculty feeling overwhelmed as they try to meet expectations for tenure or contract renewal, much less maintain personal commitments to their health, well-being, family, and community. This open conversation invites faculty to share their experiences with negotiating these myriad institutional expectations and the strategies they’ve found effective in the (sometimes elusive) quest for balance.
Navigating Free Speech in the Classroom
Monday, April 23, 12:00-1:00
Questions about free speech on college campuses continue to dominate the headlines as institutions struggle to protect open expression while also protecting their students’ safety. The headlines, however, provide little guidance to faculty who may be experiencing new uncertainty about what acceptable limits to free speech (if any) are appropriate in a classroom setting. Our final Junior Faculty Conversation of the semester invites faculty into dialogue about their own approach to free speech in the classroom and whether our changing political climate has impacted their practices in this area.