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Inviting Speakers in: The Process

Written by Danielle Filipiak
December 02, 2013

The seminar course that I instructed, entitled “The Supervised Teaching of English,” served to guide new pre-service English teachers through the beginnings of their experiences inside of the classroom, providing a safe space for them to share, dialogue, and reflect as they launched their teaching lives. To help provide a glimpe into the content for the course, I have included a screenshot of our syllabus below.  While there were some alterations of the syllabus as well as the panel line-ups, I include it also to demonstrate that the panel discussions referenced in this resource aligned with our theme-driven weekly meetings. Themes included:

  • Teacher as Authentic Self
  • Teacher as Space Holder/Facilitator
  • Teacher as Lesson Planner
  • Teacher as Community Member & Connector
  • Teacher as Evaluator
  • Teacher as Researcher
  • Teacher as Cultural Worker

Students engaged with these themes in multiple ways: via discussions, readings, activities, projects, reflections, and in some cases- Google Hangouts. Featured in this resource are the Hangouts, which required some organization on my part to facilitate.   

organizing virtual panels

In order to set-up these discussions, I first sent out an e-mail to those whom I thought would be both engaging and willing to participate, offering them a context concerning what, where, and whom I was teaching.  I asked recipients to send back Wednesday evenings that they would be available along with focus areas they would be willing to speak about, offering the list above as potential options.  Once I received responses from those I invited, I then “assigned” dates and topics, being sure to notify panelists that the chat would be recorded on Google Hangout and shared publically. When a panel date approached, I sent out a reminder e-mail that specified the start time along with a set of questions to initiate thinking along the lines of the focused topic. Contained within the remaining pages of this resource are the videotaped discussions, names of participants, and the guiding questions I sent out.   The last page contains pieces of student reflections, as well as links to full reflections that some drew up and posted publically to the Digital Is website.