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Category Archives: Volume 4

The Value of Office Hours

by Katharine Millet, History Department Head

As a freshman in college I had my first introduction to “Office Hours.”  The concept was simple enough – each professor had an allotted time each week during which he or she would be sitting behind a large wooden desk in their book-lined office, waiting to receive any student who wished to stop in.  The purpose was to give students the opportunity to get to know their professors and ask questions about the material covered in big lecture classes where time was at such a premium that few had a chance to speak at all, let alone compete against the hundred other kids with their hands up.  (more…)

When “Critical Friends” Are Actually Appreciated

by Samantha Wilson, English Faculty

Who would ever want “critical friends”? Why would you willingly put your work out there when everyone could tear it apart? How could you listen as others discussed your lesson plan or assessment as if you weren’t even there?

These are just a few of the questions that might race through a teacher’s mind when faced with what are known as Critical Friends Groups, which bring anywhere from six to ten teachers together to critique and improve each other’s work on a regular basis using protocols. CFGs have been around since the mid-1990s and were first promoted by the (more…)