My efforts to improve my teaching started early as an undergrad TA when I participated in a pedagogy course given by a professor who had won the award as best professor at my university a couple of times. The course focused on methods of presentation, which was central to my job as a TA and proved to be very useful in my teaching up to this day. In this course I learnt the importance of using colors and graphs, order at the board, the use of current news in order to introduce the subject, etc.
As a young professor I tried to improve my teaching talking to senior professors at the different departments where I worked. This allowed me to get a better understanding of students in the different universities and their motivations, but sadly helped little in terms of pedagogical advancement. One of my major concerns at the time was grading, since I had little experience on it.
Since, I was not the only young faculty having pedagogical concerns, one of my coworkers, Andrés Rosas Wulfers, a Brown and Sheridan Center’s alumni, helped us discuss some of them and put together a seminar on pedagogy taught by faculty at the Faculty of Education.
As a graduate student I had the opportunity to take part of the series of courses on teaching realized by the Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University. This has been the only formal training I have received in teaching.
- Teaching Certificate I Program: The Sheridan Teaching Seminar (2006-2007)
This program introduces participants to basic pedagogical problems like reflective teaching practices, syllabus construction, teaching to different learning styles, gauging student learning through feedback and assessment, and learning to communicate effectively in the classroom and beyond.
- Teaching Certificate II Program: The Classroom Tools Seminar (2008-2009)
This program introduces participants to a variety of teaching tools, e.g. artifacts and object in class, effective discussions, assignments and assessments, which allow instructors to engage a wide range of students.
- Teaching Certificate III Program: The Professional Developmental Seminar (2008-2009)
This program helps participants to articulate teaching, define and develop their teaching philosophy, and develop their teaching portfolio.