First as a student and then as a teacher, I have always loved the first week of school. For the 17th time as a professor at UCA, I watched as students poured into our buildings and classrooms last week. They were (mostly) well rested, alert, and hopeful as they considered the possibilities each class will offer them this semester. They had showered(!), many of them sporting new outfits, and all of them pulling out fresh, clean notebooks to begin a new semester.
The air in our classrooms was palpably charged with the electricity of the potential a new course and a fresh start offers, both for our students and for us as educators. I, too, came into my classes with a new notebook and a refreshed attitude toward the teaching and learning to take place this year.
This isn’t the only new beginning I’ve experienced recently. Over the summer, the devoted staff of the Instructional Development Center engaged in a transformation process that culminated in a new name, mission, values, and programming focus. What emerged was your Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and we feel the same eager anticipation we see in our students in beginning this academic year. We even renovated our physical space to accommodate the growth our new vision promises to deliver.
The values of excellence, responsiveness, and community guide us in fulfilling our reimagined mission: CTE collaborates with faculty to foster personal well-being and create a learning community that facilitates innovative, high-quality teaching and learning.
As you begin the 2015-16 academic year, in what areas do you need the fresh enthusiasm offered by a new notebook? Further, how can the CTE serve those needs to help you fully capitalize on the power and potential of a fresh start? Visit uca.edu/cte to further explore what UCA’s CTE can do for you.
–Amy Hawkins, CTE Director