It can be tricky being an academic, managing so many competing demands can mean that we might struggle to find time to be a great teacher as well as carrying out our research. With the release of the packed programme for the BES Annual Meeting, now is a great time to start thinking about how you might be able to fit in a few events that will help you get on your way to being a pedagogic pro. To help you navigate your way around these teaching focused events, Dr Becky Thomas summarises some of the events on offer in Birmingham. Dr Thomas is a Senior Teaching Fellow at Royal Holloway University of London, and one of the communications officers for the BES T&L Special Interest Group.
Setting up a successful field course (Monday 17th 13:15-14:15) can be a challenge which faces many academics and this interactive workshop aims to share best practice with those interested in teaching field based ecological and environmental subjects. The workshop will include advice on developing learning outcomes, practical skills development, logistics as well as some of the pitfalls and opportunities. It’ll be a helpful and informal opportunity to get to meet other people who have been through it all before and to get some hints and tips for enhancing your field based teaching.
Eight questions to make you a pedagogical pro (Tuesday 18th 13:45-14:45) promises to break down some of the theory of teaching, into simpler questions which can help your teaching and learning strategies. Working in small groups you’ll be able to discuss, explore, debate and capture ideas which will hopefully help you improve your teaching practice.
The inclusivity challenge (Tuesday 18th 13:45-14:45) is an issue which many of us teaching fieldwork may have come across. How do we ensure that everyone can experience the great outdoors, making sure that our field-based teaching is fully inclusive and accessible? Some excellent and innovative solutions will be discussed, and participants will be encouraged to think beyond the usual replacement activities to help to generate guidelines that can be shared following the workshop.
Breakfast with the Teaching and Learning SIG (Wednesday 19th 07:30-09:00) might be tough if you’re planning on enjoying the BES-FEST to the full, but it’ll be worth the early start! Many of the more teaching focused events are being organised by members of the BES T&L SIG. The morning promises breakfast, coffee and the demonstrations of some tools and technologies to help you in your field and classroom based teaching.