Click on the colored boxes for testimonials from coaches and coachees.
- I was, and am still thoroughly struck by the great, warm and friendly open footing with which the peer care mentee and I got off to and have kept up throughout our time together as colleagues on a common mission to improve our teaching all in the name of students.
- It all began with CTE’s highly personalised and insightful ultra-small-group peer coaching session, where they offered deep and thoughtful real-life stories at SMU which prodded us to examine and critically analyse our own teaching. It was only natural then, that we stepped out with a newfound purpose, sharing personal anecdotes in class both funny and wry alike, musing over thoughts and true-life happenings that make our SMU teaching life such a rich tapestry. Each time experiences flew over midday lunches grabbed during the full swing of term, such observations morphed into an almost roving eye into how students may sometimes regard us through differing lenses from what we perceive or how we wish them to, as the learning journey progressively unwinds through term. From my mentee’s seminar sit-in where I sported youthful casuals in a (vain) attempt to blend in with the students, beauty spots were highlighted for greater enhancement and the odd wart singled out for quick burn. The customisable, helpful pointers from CTE lent an easy rigour to the process, and have been so utterly flexible as to allow such meaning and enjoyment to flow throughout this peer coaching trek between two people from different schools with starkly differing courses, once colleagues, now with the added tag of friends too. For all the hard industry and genuine openness which my mentee has invested in our mutual sojourn over these months, he has my deepest respect. I hope he will likewise sit in on mine as I have his. An enriching, meaningful and fun first foray, I hope that our story may inspire many at SMU to embark on this fruitful peer care journey
- I can readily identify several benefits – ideally for both parties – in the Peer-Coaching programme. Initially, the advantage simply has to be in establishing the ethos that collaboration and mutual assistance on teaching are part of a university life, and that in turn may contribute to strengthening the otherwise regrettably fragile collegiality of the modern university. The other advantage is, at least in my experience, the benefit of working with a colleague in another discipline or School: in doing this, one is less focused on the substantive knowledge that might be shared with a colleague in the same discipline, and more attentive to issues of process and presentation. Third, the ongoing conversations are, inevitably, a chance of the coach to revisit his or her own practice: this is not a one way street, and certainly in my experience of the programme there are things one can always pick up new tricks of the trade.
- Sometimes it is helpful to have a sounding board – one of your colleagues who also cares deeply about teaching. The coaching program allows you to determine the focus of the conversation. It is less about your teaching, and more about zeroing in on the few aspects of your teaching experience that you might like to work even.
- In my own classes I teach the value of ‘process observation’. There really is no substitute for observing a talented and experienced colleague teach if you would like to pick up some real tips for teaching. I really enjoyed watching my coach’s lecture to see how he organizes himself and his lecture to keep the MBA students engaged in a three hour session. I also found it very useful to be able to talk to a senior colleague about how he prepares for a class. Such one-on-one conversations are practical and to-the-point; the advice really sticks.
- Peer~CARE provides constructive guidelines for my training. The peer coach told me many stories and scenarios from her teaching experience as well. The guidelines and the real stories provide very good reference points for my own teaching. The coach also sat in my classes, and provided to-the-point critiques and useful tips for improvement, again with her own stories. The whole coaching process for me was very friendly, constructive, and well-targeted.
- The programme helped me to prepare for my classes, such as developing the class materials and the syllabus. I also received feedback from my mentor about how to encourage students to participate in the class discussion. I found my mentor’s suggestions to be useful. I appreciated the opportunity to join this programme.
- My coach and I sat in each other’s class and shared observations. My coach is a great teacher. The purpose of sitting in my coach’s class was not to mimic the style but to find my own style and pedagogy by comparing with my coach’s, which had proven a successful model in the SMU environment. Peer coaching really helped. My teaching feedback for the same course greatly improved from 5.1 in Sem1 to 6.4 in Sem2 last AY! Just in one term!