flex dayOn Flex Day, October 10, 2018, nearly 200 staff, faculty, and administrators joined together to enhance connections across the campus and reconnect to our zest for transformative teaching and learning. Beginning with a keynote by Dr. Darrick Smith, the CTTL sponsored program focused on fostering student success. As Dr. Smith made clear — in his signature impassioned and approachable way — community college educators have the unique opportunity to “incite learning like a riot … for anyone capable of profiting from the instruction offered.”

Early feedback suggests that the message resonates at Skyline College. In the words of Barbara Corzonkoff, Academic Senate Co-Representative for Adjunct Faculty, “the keynote speaker was enlightening and the sessions were all so inviting it was hard to pick just one.”

Nicole Porter, ECE Instructor, agrees: “I enjoyed the speaker and session on ‘Being Student Ready’. I was inspired and left with tools and strategies to continue being a reflective practitioner and to engage my fellow educators”.

Other highlights included a focus: on undocumented students; highly effective educational practices in and out of the classroom including grading, affective pedagogy, and themes in general education; and understanding the new student experience. Thanks to a generous donation from bookstore manager and Skyline College alumnus, Kevin Chak, the day ended on a sweet note with dessert and a raffle. Congratulations to professor Hellen Zhang who won the grand prize – a brand new Chromebook!

Throughout the event, the strong presence of classified staff and adjunct faculty was a welcome occurrence. As Classified Senate President Michele Haggar points out, “Closing the campus made it possible for staff to engage in critical conversations that enhance our ability to serve students in the best possible way.” When asked about flex day, Jesse W. Raskin, CTTL Coordinator, replied, “We know that effective instruction leads to more student success. Today was all about investing in educators as a way to support students. I hope that everyone had an ‘aha’ moment and I’m eager to see how we develop these ideas, together.”

The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) aspires to advance student success, equity, and social justice through offering opportunity for professional development. The CTTL is available to faculty, staff, and administrators for consultation on all things teaching and learning. For more info or to make an appointment to enhance your practice as an educator, link to http://skylinecollege.edu/cttl/about.php.

By Jesse W. Raskin and Rika Yonemura-Fabian

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