By: Caitlin Powers
Senior Lecturer Landry Lockett, Ed.D., attended the 16th Annual Wakonse South College Teaching Conference at the Retreat at Balcones Springs, in Marble Falls, Texas, this April to grow as a professor and lecturer.
Lockett was selected by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to attend the conference through the Neuhaus-Shepardson Faculty Development Grant. The purpose of the grant is to promote excellence in teaching and instruction.
“Everybody was there to learn. The focus was on teaching and how to be a better and more effective teacher and instructor,” Lockett said about the conference.
Focusing on reflection, the conference consisted of keynote speakers and breakout sessions, where invited speakers and attendees would offer discussion on specific topics, Lockett said.
“We talked about what is reflection, how we can incorporate reflection into our teaching methods, and use it as a tool for student learning,” Lockett said.
Lockett said the conference taught him specific methods on how to incorporate reflection into the classroom. He was given worksheets he could tailor to his courses’ content and methods to ask questions in a better way.
Individual reflection was a cornerstone as well. The attendees were challenged to reflect on their presence in the classroom by analyzing what they do well and what they can approve upon.
“We were encouraged to use reflection as a tool to better ourselves and better the teaching methods in our courses,” Lockett said.
Attendees reflected on their teaching experiences by sharing their successes as well as failures with their colleagues during the breakout sessions. New ideas were a big part of what was shared during these breakout sessions as well Lockett said.
“Not only did formal learning take place through the structured activities and lectures, but informal learning took place as well,” Lockett said.
The conference allocated a large amount of time for attendees to interact with their colleagues from various institutions. Attendees consisted of professors and instructors mainly from Texas A&M University and Blinn College, but also from Baylor University and the University of Oklahoma. The conversations among the attendees supplemented the structured learning already in place at the conference Lockett said.
Lockett said the benefits from his attendance at the conference do not stop with him and his courses. It carries beyond his classroom to his colleagues and the department as a whole.
“We are constantly trying to improve,” Lockett said. “I am hoping to share these ideas to help improve the program.”
“As we try to improve, I hope to see some of the things I learned at the conference show up directly in our program.”