As I reflect upon the last two months of serving as a Teaching Fellow, I have been able to not only grow as a peer, but a peer mentor and leader to the students within Dr. Salter and Dr. Fapohunda’s Introduction to Global Health class. As a Teaching Fellow, I not only have the opportunity to propose open-ended questions and add direction to class discussions, but I also have the ability to add to the experiential insight provided by Dr. Salter and Dr. Fapohunda to our larger class, as a budding public health professional myself.
With my proposed assignment of involving current events topics during our weekly class discussions in the form of visual media (video format), I have noticed a sense of community develop through class discussions pertaining to the topics presented within student-initiated videos. This allows for students to build off of one another to raise new points, relate each other’s current events presentations, and drive the areas of main focus within the class.
Working alongside my faculty mentors allows me to engage with them from a feedback-based teaching perspective while maintaining a willingness to learn from class dynamics and the experiences of both faculty members. In the beginning of my project in leading a current events assignment for our class, I was unsure if it would be received as an intentional effort to help familiarize students with credible current events news sources within the field of global health. However, based on our weekly presentation discussions, it is evident that the class is gaining insight on the expectations and the key takeaways from our debrief about each topic during our class session. After students watch each other’s current events presentation videos at home, the interactive component of this assignment allows students to challenge themselves by not only asking about the article at hand, but also utilizing the current topic to fuel related discussions based on current events articles that they have been reviewing from similar credible sources, making my own position as a Teaching Fellow all the more rewarding!
To a student who wants to learn more about teaching but might not know where to start, I advise them to find topics they are interested in and identify ways in which they can add a creative flare in educating others on that topic. This allows students to not reproduce, but develop new teaching strategies based on what may have been helpful to them as a learner, so that we can continue to reinvent the teaching field. By having various means and outlets of teaching, we as peer leaders can also make sure teaching is done so in an equitable, accessible, and inclusive manner to all individuals. If you have a passion for a topic, the next step is developing a relationship with a faculty mentor to shadow in a teaching assistantship fashion, similar to this program!
As you refine your teaching strategies with the guidance of experienced faculty and your own exposure to students of different learning styles, you can become successful in any teaching endeavor you wish to pursue!
Thank you for continuing to follow me in my CUTF journey, and stay tuned for more!