©Marva A. Barnett

Beyond my own courses, I have long been involved in helping colleagues recognize what is effective about their teaching and in helping them make improvements. My largest endeavor on that front has been establishing and developing the U.Va. Teaching Resource Center, but I also have extensive experience working with colleagues in other contexts:
  • Training TAs at three universities to become the best teachers they can, endeavors guided by my belief that graduate students are my colleagues as TAs and will soon to be my colleagues as faculty members at other institutions.
  • Conducting teaching workshops in many different contexts, including national and regional conferences, language departments at other universities, various U.Va. departments, and high school systems. My central goals in facilitating such workshops include bringing the latest research results to teachers, with pertinent suggestions for implementing them in the classroom, while taking great advantage of all the experience and expertise participating teachers bring to the discourse.

I established the Teaching Resource Center at the University of Virginia in 1990 to promote effectiveteaching here in a variety of ways, including—for both faculty members and TAs—

Repeatedly, colleagues who participate in workshops or conversations in one of these interdisciplinary programs find exceptionally valuable the sharing of ideas and perspectives across disciplinary fields (see, for example, comments from University Teaching Fellows and post-workshop comments from teaching portfolio writers [2003 survey results]).

In both working at the TRC and in training TAs, I have frequently consulted confidentially with individuals about their teaching, using as documents their videotaped classes, my in-person observation notes, and their students’ comments. As with workshop participants, I use individual consultations to provoke teachers to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and to tackle problems. I ask a good many questions and provide possibly helpful perspectives and techniques in answer to their perceived needs. Such one-on-one consultations require the same exquisite level of teaching as tutorials.