Teaching Circles

What is a Teaching Circle?

  • A group of 6-8 faculty members who agree to work closely together for one semester to focus on and study an issue(s) related to improving learning and teaching.
  • The Circle will meet for at least 10 hours (divided up however the group decides) during the semester.
  • Each Circle focuses on a new area that one would like to study and develop new skills and knowledge.
  • An opportunity for professional development by engaging in a series of small-group discussions about learning and teaching.
  • The Circle is interdepartmental in nature and is self-directed within the guidelines of the Teaching Circle program.
  • The atmosphere of the Circle is intended to foster openness and trust in an environment of mutual support, trust, and discovery.
  • The Teaching Circle requires a sustained commitment over time to work with other faculty and to work toward a group and an individual outcome.
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) selects a topic and recruits faculty member for each Circle at the start of each semester.
  • Participants determine where the Circle will go and how they want to get there.
  • Each Teaching Circle also includes one faculty member who serves as facilitator who is responsible for organizing and focusing Circle activities.

Who May Participate?

Any MCTC faculty member is eligible to participate in a Teaching Circle.  A focused effort will be to encourage new faculty within the last two years to join a circle, but the program is open to all faculty.  Circles will be composed of both new and seasoned faculty.

What are the Participant Responsibilities? 

Teaching Circle Participants will receive a $350 stipend after completing the following activities:

  • Submit a signed contract to the Circle facilitator at the start of the Circle
  • Attend all scheduled Circle meetings (10 hours total – times determined by participants)
  • Prepare for each Circle by completing tasks set by Circle participants
  • Time commitment will vary, but it is expected that each participant will commit approximately 15-20 hours to individual and group work to improve learning and teaching at MCTC
  • Assist to develop the Circle’s goal(s)/outcome(s), assessment(s), and activities
  • Develop individual goal(s)/outcome(s), assessment(s), and activities
  • Practice use of technology through communication between Circle members
  • Implement and assess at least one new or improved strategy during the current semester to address at least one student-learning outcome as a result of the Teaching Circle discussions
  • Submit a summary of Teaching Circle activities including individual Circle goals/outcomes and activities, results from assessment of teaching activities, and reflection  (Summaries will be compiled by the Circle facilitator and shared with faculty electronically or in a notebook for the CTL library)
  • Share your Teaching Circle experiences and work with others through development of a faculty-development session
  • Participate in Circle celebration
  • Complete a Teaching Circle evaluation

The facilitator will receive training and a $500 stipend upon completion of Circle work.

Facilitator responsibilities