Lunch Session: Teaching Squares (30 mins)


  • E. Shelley Reid



Want to join a small group of other instructors who meet regularly to talk about their teaching strategies?

Teaching Squares are a community-building event in which about four faculty meet and talk about their teaching.  They discuss strategies and tactics they use in teaching and may even choose to "visit" one another’s class sessions and/or other teaching materials (virtual class spaces, assignments, etc.).  The goal is, through discussion, for each instructor to identify teaching strategies that they can borrow or adapt for their own classes, and provide feedback to one another.  

  • Seeing what other faculty are doing in their own classes this semester (new ideas to try!) 
  • Finding comfort in knowing that you aren't alone in your teaching--learning how other faculty are having similar challenges and goals as instructors at Mason 
  • Meeting and building networks with faculty from across disciplines 
  • Having “another pair of eyes”--a fresh perspective—on some part of your course to provide some feedback on issues that are important to you 

A Teaching Square is a formative, private conversation: this is not an evaluation of your teaching, but a chance to build some community and conversation about teaching. Stearns Center will not require a report on your Square’s work, but will ask for an anonymous evaluation of the general experience.

After a few brief orientation remarks, we will put you in a Teaching Square breakgroup within the Zoom session.  If you signed up previously, you will be put into a breakout group with your assigned teaching square. If you haven't signed up and/or are just here to learn/try it out, we will find one for you to join/try for this session. In your Teaching Square breakout group, you will introduce yourselves, discuss what you want to get out of being in a teaching square, and start exchanging ideas.  

NOTE: Think of this session as a Teaching Square sample experience.  You will have an opportunity at the end of the session to decide if you want to continue on with this teaching square to meet a few times in October, join a different teaching square that is more aligned with your goals, or decide it's not for you.

Already signed up? You should have received an email indicating which Teaching Square session to attend during the conference. If your schedule has changed, please feel free to attend a different session day/time.

Didn’t sign up yet? Not sure if you want to be in a teaching square, but want to check out what it’s about?
Join through the Zoom link in the conference scheduling app and we’ll explain how teaching squares work, the benefits, and provide an opportunity to try one out for the session. If you like the experience, you can sign up to join one at the end. If you decide you don’t, that’s fine too.

How do I know if I signed up? We asked a question during ITL registration about your interest in teaching squares. If you responded yes or maybe, we sent a follow up email with further instructions. If you didn’t receive the email, join the Zoom and we’ll get you in one.

Author Biography

E. Shelley Reid

Shelley Reid is currently Director for Teaching Excellence at the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, and also teaches a range of courses for the English Department on writing, the teaching of writing, and writing program scholarship. Her recent articles in Composition Studies, PedagogyWriting Program Administration and College Composition and Communication argue for more comprehensive and discovery-based teacher preparation in composition programs, propose strategies for mentoring and development of new and continuing faculty, and examine strategies for curriculum assessment and revision. She is interested more generally in questions of how learners transfer knowledge from one context to another, and how institutions shape the work of teachers and learners at all levels. Prior to coming to George Mason, Shelley taught at Oklahoma State University, Austin College (Sherman, TX), and the University of Wyoming; she earned her BA at Grinnell College and her MA and PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.





TUESDAY 12:15pm-12:45pm