“Much to learn, you still have.” ~ Yoda

Hello and Welcome to GEDI Fall 2017! I am SO excited to get going on this journey with you this Fall. This is my second year GTA-ing for the Contemporary Pedagogy course which is an important part of the Graduate Education Development Institute or GEDI. I have learned a lot from not only taking the course as a student but also being able to GTA for it with two people I respect immensely (Dr. Nelson and Dr. Matheis) and making friends from all walks of life that I would never have met, had I not been involved with GEDI. Developing my identity as an educator, I have found that I get inspired when I am able to inspire others – facilitate curiosity or help them find their fire for teaching and learning. I hope to do the same this semester and am looking forward to meeting you all. My hope is that by the end of this semester we would have gone through a variety of paths and journeyed through some simple, some difficult, and some uncomfortable conversations and as a result will find ourselves having both taught and learned in a manner from which each one of us can derive significance and value. Looking forward to meeting all of you!

The GEDI Journey

I am so excited that today is Wednesday! Not just because we are getting close to the weekend and this weekend is both the Rocky Mountain Showdown and the season opener for Virginia Tech. I am excited because tonight we have the first meeting for Contemporary Pedagogy! I will be one of the facilitators for the class this semester, and I am really looking forward to it! In preparing for the class, I looked back at several blog posts that I wrote when I took the class in Spring of 2016. It was fun to see how my ideas were shaped by the various materials and discussions that we had, and I still remember many of the conversations that we had in that class. In one of the blog posts that I wrote that semester, I wrote a letter to future engineers meant to encourage young people to go into engineering and understand how impactful and far-reaching engineering can be. (A little bit of background may be helpful here: I am a graduate student getting an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education and I want to help students as they pursue degrees in engineering). I thought it would be fun to edit that letter now to be a letter to all of you who are starting Contemporary Pedagogy this fall (to see the original blog post, go here). Dear current and future creator, developer, problem solver, educator, world changer: My name is Amy and I love learning about the world around me. I love exploring and seeing new things. I love creating new things and making things better. I love hearing other people’s stories and learning about other areas and cultures and perspectives. And I love helping other people learn about the world around them and achieve their goals. This is why I love being an educator. Before starting a PhD in Engineering Education, I never really thought much about teaching. I had been in many classrooms and had teachers who taught a lot of different subjects in many different ways. But my focus was always on getting a good grade (for more on that, see my blog post here). I have learned so much since then! Learning is about so much more than getting a grade, and educators can do (and do!) really cool things to facilitate learning. In Contemporary Pedagogy, we get to explore and learn about so many topics related to teaching and learning. I am hopeful that we all will learn and grow together in an effort to become better educators. So I encourage you — creators, developers, problem solvers, educators, and world changers — consider what teaching and learning mean to you. For me, it is about helping others, learning about the things around me with the people around me, and changing the world in small but meaningful ways. Sincerely, Amy I am so excited to see what this semester, this GEDI journey, has in store! I hope this experience is as rewarding for you as it is for me!