Teaching Partners Program

Purpose of the Teaching Partners

Teaching Partners is a confidential professional development service for instructors who want to enhance their teaching through peer observation and feedback. Trained faculty mentors and instructional designers meet with interested instructors in a collegial atmosphere where there is mutual sharing that benefits both parties. 

"This program is a promising opportunity for faculty development. Whether instructors want to improve their interaction with students, their use of technology, or their communication style, faculty members should consider the Teaching Partners program." -- Larry Gragg, Curators' Teaching Professor, history and political science

See below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

The program is for any full-time, part-time, tenure-track, non-tenure track or tenured instructor at Missouri S&T who wants to enhance their teaching expertise through classroom observation and feedback. At this time in the program's development, we are not able to accept GTAs into the program.

An instructor who applies to the program will be contacted by a faculty teaching partner to set up a time to meet. The pre-observation meeting is designed to help instructors articulate what they are doing well and what issues they would like to see addressed. The observation is then scheduled during a regular class time, as well as a post-observation meeting, where mentors share from their perspective and offer helpful resources, if needed.

Yes, this service is completely optional, voluntary and confidential. The process must be initiated by the instructor, and results of the observation will only be shared with the instructor. If desired, results of the observations can be put in a more formalized report and used in a portfolio or dossier, but that is up to the instructor’s discretion.

The number of observations is up to the participants and their schedules. It is recommended to have at least two observations, although that can be stretched over a year rather than squeezed into a semester, if necessary.

There is an option of observing the classrooms of S&T faculty who have been recognized for their outstanding teaching. Here is a list of faculty and who welcome your observations in their classrooms: Open Classrooms for Instructor Observations. You can also check out the CERTI webpage of archived teaching events as well as this site from Educational Technology for more resources on teaching. 

Yes! Here are a couple of comments from previous participants: “The observation process was smooth and helpful. It was great to get some feedback.” “This is a good program to have.”

According to Teaching Partners mentor Irina Ivliyeva, associate professor of Russian, "Through mentorship and experience sharing in the Teaching Partners Program, you will see measurable progress in a limited amount of time. All parties will benefit in multiple ways: strengthen communications skills and confidence in a classroom; become a team member in the instructional model for student learning; receive peer support for educational efforts. It is a truly win-win scenario!"

Go to Teaching Partners Literature Review about the value of faculty peer mentoring in higher education.

The current faculty Teaching Partner mentors are: 

Beth Cudney  Kurt Kosbar  V.A. Samaranayake
Larry Gragg  Yinfa Ma  Jeff Schramm
Irina Ivliyeva  Audra Merfeld-Langston  Joe Stanley
Mary Ann Koen  Scott Miller  Theresa Swift
Jonathan Kimball  Dan Reardon  

Go here to fill out a Teaching Partners application form and you will be contacted with more information.