Learn from the Best
The MTSU Faculty Teaching Mentoring Program started up in 2004 with the support of Provost Kaylene Gebert. Its objective is to promote teaching excellence at MTSU by providing faculty with the opportunity to learn from some of our most outstanding teachers.
To prepare for the program, 5 faculty, one from each college, met with Dr. Harvey Brightman, a nationally recognized faculty mentoring expert, to learn how to become effective academic mentors for their peers. All completed an intensive workshop on effective teaching and mentoring skills.
Today, Dr. Tim Graeff, Professor in the Jennings Jones College of Business, chairs this learning community.
Why Be Mentored?
The purpose of the mentoring program is to further develop and enhance teaching effectiveness and student learning among both established and new faculty. Seasoned teachers may wish to learn about new ideas and teaching methods; new faculty may seek guidance in developing their own teaching style and skills. With the advent of new pedagogies, technology, equipment and settings, all teachers should take the time to review and rejuvenate on a consistent basis.
Individual faculty are mentored in a confidential collegial process. An evaluation tool helps the mentor evaluate strengths and weaknesses, as would be perceived by students.
The mentor typically meets with the teacher throughout the semester , visiting several of the teacher's classes, discussing strengths in instruction, and making suggestions for improvement. The mentors review syllabi, tests, work products and assignments. During the mentoring process, the mentor asks the teacher to keep a "learning log" to record and reflect on his or her experiences and outcomes and preserve that information for future use. The Teaching Mentor Handbook provides a wealth of material and resources to strengthen teaching skills and working with students.
Mentored faculty also receive a comprehensive resource book on teaching: The Teaching Mentor Handbook. It contains a wealth of articles, guidelines, tools, forms, and exercises related to building effective teaching skills and raising one's consciousness about teaching principles. Practical advice on creating tests, writing learning outcomes, handling first days, designing courses, and more make this handbook an invaluable reference for any teacher. The Center also offers a specialized library of materials on teaching and learning as well as an exhaustive collection of teaching resources.