I began working on the report with the self study committee 2 years ago, and this past week we had our visiting team on campus for reaccreditation. As I’ve watched the whole process, I had a couple thoughts:
- First, we received a commendation for how we did the self study, particularly for our use of technology. The tech infrastructure was my part of the team, so I was particularly proud of that. I’m planning to write up that piece in my portfolio.
- I would like to be on a visiting team at some point, and I realized that it’s more than just walking around talking to people. You need to be a confident facilitator, whether that is knowing how to ask questions that probe deeper than what is already in the report; you need to be read to step in and redirect conversations that get tangential, circular, or personal; and you need to be prepared to diffuse potentially tense interactions amongst faculty or staff that you do not know or have a relationship with. I was particularly impressed with the two men who facilitated our middle school discussion and the questions that they asked.
- One of the biggest realizations I came to in our middle school discussion was that, for the most part, people WANT feedback on their teaching. We want our colleagues to visit our classrooms. We are proud of the good work that we do and want to make it better. This is one of the reasons I love being in the Critical Friends Group with four of my colleagues. It gives us a place to get constructive feedback on units or projects. I reaffirmed for me the importance of this protocol.
I’m no longer on any committees or taskforces, which makes me a little sad, but there are other projects in the back of my mind that I’m ready to focus on!