After I’d been teaching for about 15 years, I wanted to pass on what I’d learned about how to promote effective learning, and support people new to instructional roles to discover their own teaching gifts.
I began with supervising University of Alberta student teachers during their classroom practicums, and also taught middle years and high school student teachers at the University of Manitoba.
Eventually, I discovered a love for working with university professors, who were content area and research experts, but had never formally learned how to teach. They were always such willing learners, devoted to improving their students’ learning experiences.
Perhaps the most thrilling experiences I had involved teaching international professors from China, Japan, and Uruguay to teach their courses using English, where English was not their first language nor the native language of their students. As part of the University of Alberta’s Advanced Professional Program in English-medium Instruction (APPEMI), I assisted instructors, who were often using a lecture-only approach, add to their repertoires and become more comfortable with facilitating active learning with their students. Sometimes, they visited Edmonton. Other times, I was invited to their countries to teach onsite. As we interacted, I learned so much about teaching as a cultural practice.