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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 18, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Teaching Squares Program

Fall 2013

Why was the program created?

The Teaching Squares Program was developed in the spirit of creating a mutually supportive and engaging community for sharing the joys and challenges of teaching. The program runs in the fall only.

What is the program all about?

The program provides a forum for faculty and academic staff to gain new insight into their teaching through a process of reciprocal classroom observation and self-reflection. The program is non-evaluative; there are no records – just conversation between colleagues who share an interest in teaching.

Who can participate?

Any full-time faculty member, contract academic staff member, graduate student, or post-doctoral fellow who is teaching a classroom course in the fall or winter term of the program is eligible to participate. There is no limit to participation. You are welcome to participate in multiple offerings of the program.

How do I become involved?

Simply complete and submit the program registration form by the set date for each term. We will do our best to accommodate your availability and preferences with your teaching square partners. Keep in mind that the matching process will depend upon the number of people participating in the program and the subject areas in which they teach. The nine-week schedule is outlined in the program handbook below.

What are the benefits of participation?

By participating in Teaching Squares you will have an opportunity to:
•    observe, analyze, and celebrate good teaching,
•    develop an appreciation and awareness of cross-disciplinary instructional styles and approaches practiced by your colleagues, and
•    examine and reflect upon your teaching based on the shared observations and reflections of your Square Partners.

What’s involved in participating?

Each square is comprised of four instructors from a variety of disciplines (though you can request to be partnered with someone in your discipline/field of study), who work together during the semester to accomplish the following:

•    attend an initial organizational meeting to meet your Square members and discuss logistics,
•    arrange for and observe at least one class taught by each partner of your Teaching Square (a total of 3 observations),
•    reflect upon your classroom observation experiences,
•    meet again with your Square Partners to share and discuss your classroom observation experiences and reflections, and
•    come together for a concluding All Squares gathering to share insights and outcomes of your individual and collective experiences.

As part of the professional development experience, expect to commit between 5 to 8 hours of your time during the course of the semester. Other than the first and last group meeting with all the squares, the members of each square are responsible for setting when they meet as a team and when they observe each others' classrooms.

A program handbook outlines in greater detail what to expect, program timelines, as well as guidelines for working through the Teaching Square process.

If you have questions about the program, please contact: 

Educational Development Program and Events Coordinator | 519 884-0710, ext. 3507

Jeanette McDonald, Manager: Educational Development | 519 884-0710, ext. 3211

Related Information Title Type
2013 Teaching Squares Participant Handbook Document