Making Teaching Communal: Peer Mentoring through Teaching Squares
Teaching can often seem like an independent endeavor, and seeking out ways to engage in dialogue and exchanges surrounding teaching can be beneficial. Opportunities to observe peers’ teaching and discuss teaching practices, challenges, and experiences with peers can lead to an increased sense of community, a fruitful exchange of ideas, and ultimately more thoughtful and effective teaching (Hendry and Oliver, 2012; Lemus-Martinez et al., 2021). One venue for such engagement is the teaching square, an exercise in which teachers observe each other’s teaching practice, typically with the goal of self-reflection of one’s own practice rather than evaluation of a peer performance. We suggest that even as the common philosophy behind teaching squares emphasizes self-reflection, they can also be catalysts for peer mentoring among participants. This article discusses teaching squares as a peer mentorship opportunity, drawing attention to the benefits of cultivating peer mentorship focused on teaching practices. We provide an account of our experience in undertaking a teaching square and the informal peer mentorship that resulted.
Copyright (c) 2022 Rachel Friedman, Angela George, Miao Li, Devika Vijayan
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