By Lisa Lamor, Faculty Development SpecialistLisa_Lamor_opt

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." - John Dana Cotton

The summer months for college faculty mean a number of different things – teaching summer classes, working on curriculum, exploring new teaching methods or styles, doing research, traveling, and/or finding much-needed rejuvenation and enjoyment. And I'm personally convinced many of us will try to do all of those things simultaneously!

In an article in Faculty Focus, author and educator Vickie Kelley, EdD, described a use of some of her time between academic years: "One of my goals for the summer was to think about the changes and additions I could make to my upcoming classes. I heard some great ideas, read some exceptional reports, and pondered which approaches and techniques would be of most value to my students. Some of the best ideas were not in my content area, but served as a great refresher to how I think about myself as an instructor, and how I perceive my students" (Sept, 2012).

Thinking about instruction, or researching teaching methods, or modifying courses can be part of our enjoyment, instead of separate from it. Fall is a prime time to implement any changes or modifications to a course or to explore teaching techniques, but it gets busy fast. Having a plan in place is a valuable step to making Fall semester a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for us and our students.

So to help provide ideas for summer exploration, I've listed just a few recommended readings here. I fully suggest you do your reading in the sun – on a boat or by a campfire, if you are get the chance. A patio chair or blanket in the grass work too.

  • The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer
    • A recommendation from SCC's own Dr. Laurie Oelslager
  • The Pedagogy of the 21st Century by William Draves and Julie Coates
    • Authored by the President & Vice President (respectively) of Learning Resources Network (LERN), the organization through which Juliann Brueske, Steve Pottenger, and I earned our Certified Faculty Developer credentials
  • From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom by Marc Prensky
    • Interesting perspectives on technology, education, and learning

If you have other books to suggest, please send them to me and I'd be happy to share them with others. Also, we are currently working on putting in criteria that will make it smoother to search for South Central College Library resources on teaching and learning. In the meantime Johnna Horton, Director of Library/Media Services has provided a great list of books that I have handy if anyone is interested!

Sometimes just having someone to bounce thoughts, ideas, and plans off is a crucial part of processing. I'll be around this summer and am available to help if anyone has a project they'd like to work on or if you'd just like to chat about what you are finding, considering, and/or learning. Just shoot me an email, call, or stop by and say hello – I'd welcome the visit!

Have a great summer everyone,

Lisa Lamor
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Office – located through the mailroom in the faculty support area on the North Mankato campus;
as requested in some random corner of sunshine available on the Faribault campus.