Last Faculty Standing

With all these new fangled gadgets coming and going it can cause quite a stir. Television, radio, iPads and iPods…. For this part of the Last Faculty Standing, please view the video below and share a response as a comment here on the Webletter.

2014 Winter Institute December 10th and 11th


The Winter Institute is here! Join your colleagues for two days of faculty led workshops and great lunchtime conversations. We will have a focus on Student Success and we will also have be running the infamous Last Faculty Standing game featuring a Samsung Tab 4 as a prize!

You can sign up for sessions on the Yavapai College Training site here. You can visit the Institute Wiki here and see some of the presentation materials from this year and many years past.

The 2014 9x9x25 Challenge is Complete

We have completed our second annual 9x9x25. We had 187 posts written by 23 faculty over a nine week period. You can see them in the embedded book below or read the posts here on the Webletter.

We had more views of the TeLS Webletter during the month of October than any month in the Webletter’s six year history.


We brought in a number of posts from the 4x4x16 Challenge that Northwestern Michigan College ran and we discovered that three faculty from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado ran a semester long reflective professional development program based in part on the 9x9x25 Challenge.

You can see the 2014 Yavapai College 9x9x25 Challenge participant’s blogs by clicking on the links below.

Laura Cline | Dave Graser | Nancy Shafer | James Voska | Ellen Savoini | Ruth Alsobrook | Tina Luffman | Mark Shelley | Todd Conaway | David Alegre | Jason Whitesitt | Chris Heyer | Curtis Kleinman | Mary Verbout | Sal Buffo | Stuart Blacklaw | Joanne Oellers | Roxanne Wessel | Leanne Lawhead | Lori Riden | Mark Frederick | Denise Woolsey | Charles Lohman

Reflection after Nine Weeks

The last nine weeks have been something of a blur. It’s been one of those semesters with too much to do and too little time to do it. But, I think what we, collectively, have done here is exceedingly important.

One of the most unfortunate things about teaching is that we rarely have time to sit down and reflect upon our craft. So many of us run helter-skelter during the school year, and, then, when the breaks finally arrive, we often wish to turn to (or finally return to) those aspects of our personal lives (unrelated to work) that suffer such neglect as we prep, teach, grade, and do the mountains of paperwork that are part of the job.

But we should reflect on what we do. Passing on knowledge and skills, insights and advice, may be one of the most important tasks of the older generation of any society. We should talk about how to teach well. And we should share the pitfalls. We should talk about that to which we have dedicated our lives.

My biggest regret these last nine weeks has been the lack of time and energy to properly read most of the other posts written by all of you. I see these as a treat for me when the semester is finally over. I look forward to the wisdom you have all shared.

Of the eight blogs that I’ve written to date, only two of them have proved satisfactory to me. The rest, well, I needed to get them done, so I did. They were hack jobs.

That said, I don’t regret writing them. Those were the topics that came to mind when writing time arrived. The thoughts were honest and heartfelt.

Of course, on some weeks, my primary thought was reluctance, followed by “What the heck can I write about?” But, then, when it came time to actually sit down and compose, the words and ideas (however sketchy) flowed.

In the end, there are only two kinds of writing: that which is done and that which is not. I like the finished kind.

I stand amazed by the quality of instructors here at Yavapai College. And I remain impressed by TeLS and all that they do. When Todd asked me write these blogs, I readily agreed. And this was not just because I love my job and love to talk about it. It was because I hold Todd, and all the folks at TeLS, is the highest regard.

Kudos for Todd for corralling the cats. and kudos for everyone who wrote down their thoughts and feelings about one of the most important jobs in the world.

I Remember

9X9X25 Challenge – Week 9                         Jim Voska

I Remember

I remember that it was a short nine weeks ago that the 9X9X925 Challenge started.  It was only a few weeks prior that I decided to participate in the project.  I must say, that it was a good decision on my part.  Over the past 63 days, I have had the opportunity to reflect on what I do in the classroom that benefits the students.  I have also reflected on what benefits me as a teacher.  I have also found great pleasure of reading what others are doing in their classroom and then blending their ideas with mine for the students benefit.

I remember that by going through the challenge process, it helped stimulate my gray matter in revisiting techniques that I have used in the past and reintroducing them into today’s learning process with success.  I have also added new material to encourage students’ growth.  I have taken teaching techniques that I have used in some of the business classes I have taught and modified them for a technical audience.  Since individuals have transferable skills, why not transferable teaching techniques.   It has reminded me that when I review my curriculum for the coming term, not to necessarily think outside of the box, but to make my box bigger.

I remember that by sharing our teaching experiences and techniques, it make all of us better teachers.  The process of distribution of the 9X9X25 Challenge offers all of us the opportunity to be in the position of our students and learn.  I appreciate all of the participants in the challenge for helping me be a better teacher.  The value of the challenge for me, and I hope for all of us, is the continuous life-long learning process that we invoke to our students and now have practiced.  I have learned to ask better questions that require critical thinking skills to answer.  I also have learned to stretch, not only the students, but myself.

I remember that what started nine weeks ago, does not end here.  It will continue with my appreciation of what others have taught me.  The adjunct meetings that I attend will be part of the 9X9X25 challenge continuing process.  Having the opportunity to take the time to write what I feel works in the classroom and receiving feedback from peers is priceless, as the commercial goes.  One thing I am starting to do as a direct result of the challenge is to continue with my writing of my classroom techniques, both old and new.  Documenting the process and results and review will be great feedback for self-improvement.    For me, this has been a process improvement.

I will remember these past nine weeks and will remain grateful for all of the contributions I have read and have taken advantage of in my classroom.  Thank you for making me a better teacher.