Serving as an ACERT Fellow this past year has been an exciting and rewarding experience. I appreciated the support from a diverse group of teachers and scholars, the opportunity to explore topics of my interest and to learn about new pedagogical approaches. In the fall 2019, I organized a Lunchtime Seminar entitled “Emotion, affect, and community building in the CUNY classroom” that offered various strategies to deal with emotional expectations of both students and teachers and to make emotions a topic for discussion in class. I was also very happy to participate in another Lunchtime Seminar – “Rap and Poetry in the Classroom: Creative Performance as Classroom Engagement” – where one of my former students talked about the experience of writing poetry in my Italian classes. Finally, I attended an exciting workshop on experiential pedagogy entitled “When History Comes to Life,” which was organized by the group Teachers on Teaching and co-sponsored by ACERT. I enjoyed every aspect of the event and I co-authored a blog post about the workshop.
Over the break I co-led a Teaching Scholarship Circle entitle “Discussing The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux, by Cathy N. Davidson.” As a group of over twenty faculty members and adjuncts, we discussed the role of technology, active learning and meaningful assignments over two weeks before the semester started. That discussion became relevant as we had to transition to online teaching and technology became central in every single course taught at Hunter and everywhere else.
In the spring 2020, before the COVID-19 crisis imposed social distancing, I organized a Lunchtime Seminar about writing intensive classes – “What Makes a Writing Intensive Course” – in which we discussed challenges and strategies for these kinds of courses in various disciplines. We also presented the project of a handbook for new instructors of writing courses I am completing with Nora Carr (Queens College).