I am particularly proud of the Graduate Teacher Training Program I created in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University. This program consists of a two course sequence that I developed and continue to teach. The first class is a pedagogy and mechanics course (Teaching Sociology-SOCI 9000) and the second is a teaching internship (Teaching Internship-SOCI 9001). Students in my classes learn best practices, debate pedagogy, and receive multiple critiques. I provide them with extensive feedback and support them as they begin to teach. Students in this program also receive feedback on their teaching from their peers, the Teaching Associate (an advanced graduate student who assists the program—a position I developed), their undergraduates (when I conduct Small Group Instructional Diagnosis during the Teaching Internship), and other faculty (I coordinate a minimum of three additional observations per graduate student by members of the Teaching Committee). Combining these sources offers our graduate students a total picture of their instructional strengths and weaknesses.
Besides developing and teaching SOCI 9000 and 9001, I chair the Teaching Committee and serve as the Department’s Director of Instruction. I log extensive hours offering advice and concrete support to teaching graduate students and faculty members as well. Whether developing Teaching Brown Bags, writing our Department’s first Teaching Manual, or mentoring teachers, I sincerely believe (and am repeatedly told by colleagues) that I have supported and improved the culture, mechanics, and effectiveness of teaching in our Department. My excitement about the success of the Teaching Associate position I developed led me to co-author an article (along with three graduate students who served as Teaching Associates) on the position in Teaching Sociology.