Archive-Teachers’ Cafes

Education on Deadline, The Live Wire and Student Learning
Stephania Davis and the Live Wire Staff

How does the Live Wire figure within the Journalism curriculum and within the larger education of students who work on the paper? What are some of the ways students can develop their talents as writers, photographers, artists, and designers on the staff? Join Stephania Davis and several students on the Live Wire staff as they provide answers to these questions and discuss the challenges of meeting a deadline.

Working Collaboratively Across the System
Bobbi Fox, Jon Morris, Barbara Paskov, James Gentile, Ken Klucznik

While each of the twelve community colleges has its own distinct character, together these colleges function as part of a system which has a common mission and often shares a common curriculum. Join faculty who represent MCC on system-wide committees focusing on disciplines and programs. How are the committees organized? What types of issues are addressed? What are the challenges of working in such settings? Learn from faculty about four distinct committees: Bobbi Fox discussing the DARC Coordinators Committee, Jon Morris discussing the Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers (CTABT), Barbara Paskov discussing the Math Basic Skills Committee of Connecticut (MBSCC) and Math Issues, and James Gentile and Ken Klucznik discussing the Connecticut Coalition of English Teachers (CCET).

Bridging the Gap between Classroom Theory and On-the-job Training
Bob Henderson

This Tea explored how students can earn credit, pay, and experience through the Cooperative Education Program. This semester students completed co-ops and internships at work sites including WFSB-TV, Pratt and Whitney, C-TN, Hartford Hospital, the East Hartford Police Department, and Highland Park Market. Bob Henderson and several students provided insight into this unique learning opportunity.

Transitions to College
Florence Sheils, Bess Lewis, and Kathleen Bottaro

This Tea explored how our college helps to acculturate students to college and thus enhance their chances for success. The Office of Transitional Programs (OTP) offers courses and support services that meet a diverse student population, including students preparing to enter college (the STARS program) and those returning to college (the AIT program). Florence Sheils, Bess Lewis, and Kathleen Bottaro provided insight into the OTP, the values which underlie its programs, and the students who benefit from its work.

Collaborative Teaching
Michael DiRaimo, Jeanine DeRusha, and Sonja Gayles

Faculty collaborations can both inspire students and reinvigorate teachers. This Tea explored how faculty members are working together in two classes-one linking history and culture and one linking mathematics and writing. Michael DiRaimo discussed his work with Chris Paulin in a European History class and Jeanine DeRusha and Sonja Gayles discussed their work together in a Mathematics class.

Computer Simulations and Enhanced Student Learning
Peter Poulos, Catherine Seaver, and Negussie Tirfessa

Peter Poulos, Catherine Seaver, and Negussie Tirfessa explained how they use interactive computer simulations to expand the boundaries of the classroom and thus enhance opportunities for student learning. They discussed specific applications in the areas of engineering, computer science, and the sciences.

Service-Learning: Realizing the College’s Mission
Tim Woods and MCC Students

Service-Learning allows students both to meet community needs by volunteering in local organizations and to advance learning objectives through varied assessment instruments. Tim Woods offered insight into the pedagogical and practical issues linked to developing a service-learning project. Offering their own perspective were four of Tim’s students: Christina Gregoire, volunteering at Montville Youth Service Bureau; Mathieu Rodrigue, volunteering at Samaritan Homeless Shelter; Dawn Williams, volunteering at Washington Elementary School; and Amy Van Nieuwenhuyze, volunteering at Hartford Correctional Center.

Echo Boomers
Sandra Rimetz

Sandra Rimetz did a presentation on the “echo boomers”–the generation who grew up with the computer as a baby toy and the video game as a major pastime. Participants learned about this generation of students and their world.

Teaching Labs and Studios: Disciplinary Perspectives
Susan Classen-Sullivan, Sandra Jenkins, C.K. Pai, and Barbara Place

Susan Classen-Sullivan, Sandra Jenkins, C.K. Pai, and Barbara Place offered faculty, many of whom are unfamiliar with teaching in lab and studio environments, an opportunity to hear faculty in four diverse lab/ studio settings-Art, Culinary Arts, Science, and Foreign Languages-share their thoughts on the challenges and rewards of teaching in such settings.

Teachers to Teachers: Teaching Teenagers at Great Path Academy
Mary Caplan, Michael Sirois, Brooke Teller, and Michael West

The Faculty of Great Path Academy–Mary Caplan, Michael Sirois, Brooke Teller, and Michael West-shared their experiences teaching younger students. While many of us have met Principal Carter, fewer of us have had an opportunity to interact with all of the faculty. The Tea offered an opportunity to learn about the school and its students and to learn specifically about students as they transition toward college.

Hybrid Courses: Lessons Learned and Fingers Burned
Rae Strickland

Rae Strickland discussed her experiences creating a hybrid version of an “Introduction to Literature” course. Rae addressed the pedagogical and practical issues that arise when an instructor attempts to balance instruction both onground and online. Rae was joined by two of her students who described their experiences from the other side of the desk and computer screen.

Making the Library Your Own
Randy Fournier

Randy Fournier and members of the MCC Library offered a deeper understanding of the extensive resources and services utilized by faculty and students. The presentation and discussion revealed resources including online databases as well as physical collections, and personal services such as student research assistance, faculty consultations about holdings and resources, and library instruction classes.

Building Stronger Ties with Part-time Faculty
Wesley Klein and Joanne Russell

Wesley Klein and Joanne Russell were joined by adjunct members of the Biology Department to discuss initiatives focusing on part-time faculty members undertaken over the past two years by the Biology Department. Through orientations at the beginning of semesters, the creation of common materials (such as lab safety guides) that can be used by part-time faculty, and ongoing communication and mentoring throughout the semesters, ties with part-time faculty have been strengthened.

Insights into Students with Learning Disabilities
Gail Hammond

During this Tea, Gail Hammond (who was joined by Joan Kantor) offered participants an opportunity to experience types of learning disabilities and identified both individual and institutional responses to the challenges faced by those with such disabilities.

Defining, Discouraging, and Deterring Plagiarism
Pat Cook, Jeanine DeRusha, and James Gentile

This Tea consisted of both a re-showing of spring 2003’s well-received PBS broadcast of “Cheating and Plagiarism Using the Internet” as well as a presentation, moderated by Pat Cook, by Jeanine DeRusha and James Gentile on issues of plagiarism in the classroom. The presenters offered thoughts on developing projects involving research that stressed the meaningful and ethical use of sources. It should be noted that many participants devoted almost an entire afternoon midweek (from 2:15 to 5:00) to this session.

The Online Student: Perspectives
Jason Blosser, Peter Harris, Catherine Seaver, and Patrick Sullivan

Bringing together speakers from diverse areas of the college who each interact with our students in a different context, this Tea focused on online learning. The speakers recounted their own experiences as online students and offered advice for the effective use of technology in online settings.

Effective Interaction with ESL Students
Diana Hossain

During this Tea, Diana Hossain spoke on our student population for whom English is a second language. She described levels of students’ facility with English and subsequent needs and identified not just linguistic but cultural issues that affect learning.