Thus far in my career, I have experience teaching outdoor education, language, literature, phonetics and phonemic awareness, and culture. This variety of experience has taken place in many areas of teaching, from peer-tutoring as early as middle school, through whitewater rafting guide training, to tutoring phonemic awareness and reading skills, to teaching many levels of French and English at three different universities, as well as providing teacher training at two of those universities.
At CU Boulder, I began teaching introductory French classes and have since worked my way up through the languages classes to the 3000-level. I have become particularly proficient in the 2000-level grammar classes, assisting the coordinator in developing materials and preparing new instructors for teaching the course. These language courses have helped develop my use of technology for course work, both in and out of the classroom, such as shifting to online quizzes and assignments, regular use of Kahoot!, and taking learning out of the classroom through app-based games like GooseChase. In France first as lectrice at the Université François Rabelais in Tours and then as maître de langues at Université Paris 13, I was responsible for a variety of classes for language majors and non-specialists, mostly focusing on phonetics and oral expression.
The development of content courses has allowed me the freedom to find my own pedagogical style aligned with my teaching philosophy while also learning from experienced professors. My experiences as TA for French and Italian Women Writers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance and four semesters for an Italian culture course, That’s Amore!, provided positive models upon which I could build course policies and methods for teaching culture and literature. I was thus fully prepared when teaching an upper division survey course required for majors and minors that covered literature from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, a course I called “De Roland à Rousseau.” When asked to take over the introductory course on medieval literature taught in translation, a course that fulfills the university’s core requirement for lower division literature credit, I received approval to rethink the course. In an effort to make the content more broadly appealing and to create a popular course that brings good publicity to the department, I redesigned the course to teach medieval epic and romance within the context of the popular television series, Game of Thrones.
The course reflects my teaching philosophy by creating a learning community in class that extends beyond the classroom. Students from a wide range of disciplines engage with medieval literature within a context of pre-established shared interest that provides them with common ground from which to understand themes and social mores within the texts. Course objectives are three-fold, employing Game of Thrones to foster a quicker and deeper connection to medieval literature, applying critical theory to evolve students into more critical consumers of pop culture, and using the combination to expand awareness of cultural relativism through emphasis of both similarities that humanize medieval people and differences that give a new perspective to students’ own world views. Teaching the course three times has enabled me to modify and test effective practices. Through research on the effectiveness of alternative assessment, I have modified by evaluation practices each semester to develop more engaging assignments. My current TAR project is designed to assess my own methods of discussion facilitation by quantifying the difference between preloaded questions and those encountered in class. Having the freedom to change my syllabus means that I can adapt from one semester to the next based on experience and student response to material. Through continued pedagogical training and research, I have learned small ways of greatly increasing the effectiveness of each lesson, such as transparency of learning objectives and methodology for each lesson and assignment. This is a continuation of my teaching philosophy as such transparency shows students my thinking and planning so they feel the learning is a shared experience and are keenly aware of my expectations of them. Each year, I discover new ways of developing this partnership in my own learning community.