Teaching Award

Grand Valley State University has 2 major teaching awards. Paula and I were each finalists for one of these awards this year. Becoming a finalist is quite an accomplishment and that means that you’ve already made it through the initial rounds of decision making.

The other day, the Dean called me to her office. Naturally, I started trying to figure out what I’d done wrong. I think I had a look of concern on my face when I walked in because the Dean’s first words were, “Do you know why you’re here? Don’t worry, it’s not bad.” Whew!

Come to find out, I had been selected as the winner of the award for innovative teaching — the Pew Teaching with Technology Award. Every full time and part time professor and/or instructor was eligible to win this award, which amounts to well over 1,000 people. What a terrific reward for the hard work I’ve put into teaching.

Being nominated meant that I had to develop a rather involved portfolio to help the awards committee make the best choice. Part of this portfolio included every student evaluation from the past couple of years.  I had to write a cover letter for every piece of evidence I included and I had to include many different aspects of my teaching. I had to include a few letters from students and a few letters from colleagues. I had to include samples of all of the innovative teaching that I do, etc. So, it feels good to be recognized after the hard work required just to get nominated . . . let alone the work that got me recognized in the first place. ;~).

And, Paula could still win her award since her awards committee is operating on a different schedule; however, the stipend for winning my award is higher than the one she would receive. I remind her of this often. Heh heh.