The Teaching & Learning Center at Mountain View College seeks to share teaching practices across the entire institution. The following article showcases a faculty member, provides insight into the environment they’ve created for MVC students, and demonstrates effective teaching practices.
This month we showcase Professor Jessica Battes-Grabowski .
What is one element about MVC that makes it the “best college on earth?”
The students are what make MVC so special! Teaching art classes have given me the opportunity to get to know my student’s thoughts and feelings about a wide range of topics and issues. I have come to find that MVC has a fantastic student body that is focused on achieving their goals. I am also continually impressed with how friendly and thoughtful the students are at MVC.
How would your students describe you or your teaching style?
I think students would say I have a blended style of teaching because I incorporate demonstrations, multimedia presentations, activities (both individual and group), traditional lectures and class discussions. This blended style of teaching allows me to reach all students and keep them engaged with the material.
What teaching strategies do you find most successful in your courses?
I make sure to incorporate new technologies that my students are familiar with and interested in. I make sure to begin each class by stating the itinerary and goals for the class period. This helps keep students on task and aware of deadlines.
What do your students love most about your courses?
I think my students love being challenged by the projects I give, the ability to explore new ideas, techniques and the freedom to express themselves in a safe environment free from judgment. I think they enjoy a lot of freedom with their projects. I want them to bring their own experiences and interests into the course.
What is one creative solution you’ve implemented to address a specific challenge in your courses?
Students sometimes have trouble talking about their artwork. I have found that writing assignments can really help students to formulate their ideas and concepts. This exercise also helps students to present their work during the critique more clearly.
What has been your most positive or rewarding teaching experience?
Sometimes a student begins a project with a lot of self doubt and trepidation. When they overcome this fear and finish the project successfully with great pride in what they have accomplished it is extremely rewarding.
What advice would you give to a new faculty member at MVC?
Get to know you students and find out what they are interested in. This will help you incorporate new elements into your course and keep students engaged in the material.
Who is one person at MVC who has been instrumental to your success (and why)?
Professor James Behan and Cristina Medina have both been instrumental in helping me be successful at MVC. They are always there to help and answer any questions or concerns I have. Their support has been really great and I have learned a great deal from both of them.