Teaching Squares projects are opportunities to learn by observing your peer faculty members on all aspects of teaching. They are intended to promote dialogue and self-reflection. The primary characteristic of teaching squares is discovery—learning by directly observing others’ teaching and by holding conversations with them about their situational factors and their responses and strategies concerning those factors. As such, Teaching Squares are purely non-evaluative.
For a detailed overview, please view the Teaching Squares Handbook. To sign up, please fill out the Qualtrics form at https://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0evhDRFPSwwJu8C prior to the beginning of the semester.
The following video details the experiences of several UCF faculty members who piloted a Teaching Square during Faculty Center programming in Fall 2020:
The framework for teaching squares includes
- Appreciative inquiry: discovering what works well in the learning environment and how,
- Empathy and respect: demonstrating understanding and support for peers and students,
- Team-based operations: faculty members contribute as both learners and teachers to good of the team,
- Non-evaluation: all outcomes refer to the self in teaching squares rather than suggesting improvements to someone else.
How It Works
- Form a square of four instructors. Your peers can be from any rank or program.
Early Semester Square Introductions Discuss expectations
Early Semester Exchange Materials Provide each other materials Early and Mid-Semester Class Visits Visit one class for each member
Late Semester Self-Reflection Review observations
- Schedule a meeting with all members of the square to create the visitation schedule.
Name I visit class, day/time When I’m visited, day/time Partner #1 Partner #2 Partner #3
- At the first meeting, record each square member’s goals for the project.
Name Goals What do I hope to gain from the Square? Partner #1 Goals Partner #2 Goals Partner #3 Goals
- Exchange your materials (syllabus, rubrics, lesson outlines, etc.).
- Conduct your observations, taking notes relevant to your goals for the project.
- Review your observation notes and write your reflection.
- Meet with your square to share your discoveries.
Faculty Focus: Teaching Squares Bring Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives