On January 11, 2019, staff, faculty and administrators came together for the first Flex Day of Spring 2019. The program was designed to highlight approaches to education that emphasize a focus on who we teach not just on what we teach. As keynote speaker Dr. Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales urged the audience, “We have a shared responsibility to be responsive to our students and their understanding of the world, to prepare them to transform it for the better.”
Early feedback suggests that the campus welcomed this approach: “Dr. Tintiangco-Cubales delivered an inspiring keynote that set the tone for Flex Day. What resonated with me was her focus on building relationships with students and asking what they need, instead of assuming,” said Michelle Batista, Director of Student Support.
After the keynote, faculty moderator Nate Nevado and a panel of four Skyline College students took the stage to share and discuss what motivates them to achieve their educational goals. Yatin Kumar, Paul Dzul, Tia Samn and Chantel Jaycee Giner each made clear that they deserve and desire educators willing to connect with them as humans and as learners. Unprompted, each student named a specific Skyline College educator who made a transformative difference in their lives, making this was a proud moment for our institution.
Having students take the spotlight was part of an intentional approach on Flex Day to situate learners at the center of our efforts as educators. In the words of Jessica Silver-Sharp, Adjunct Librarian, “Flex Day was great, especially the student panel! It was empowering for me to hear from students in their own words about what motivates them to succeed.”
The day also included sessions on topics such as Open Educational Resources, being student ready, transformative teaching practices, consequential communications, high impact practices, classified engagement in the college redesign and supporting students with children. This aligns with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning’s (CTTL) commitment to support the college’s efforts to close equity gaps and increase opportunities for student success. In designing the program, CTTL sought to bring multiple voices to the fore, since students, faculty, classified staff and administrators have a role to play in these efforts. In the words of Classified Senate President, Michele Haggar, “It is inspiring to see several professional development sessions on one flex day led entirely by classified staff!”
The CTTL provides, supports and promotes professional development at Skyline College and is available to faculty, staff and administrators for consultation on all aspects of transformative teaching and learning. For more information or to make an appointment to enhance your practice as an educator, click the link to skylinecollege.edu/cttl/about.php.
The next flex day will be on March 6, 2019. Save the date!
Article by Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) | Photo by Zaw Min Khant