Kettering College “Tea Time”: Pedagogy Served with Collaboration

Dr. Taryn Talbott, Instructional Designer, and Mia Pomales, Instructional Technologist, recently combined forces to assist teachers to engage students in new ways. Together they’ve created “Tea Time,” with the TEA being all things related to TEAchers. Offered on the first Tuesday of every month at the main campus, and the fourth Tuesday at the Ollie Davis campus, the team’s goal is to provide resources to professors that will create more options and ideas for their classes.

Dr. Talbott says, “My background is medical, and I was trained for years to be an expert in my field, but when I came to higher education, I learned that while I might be a content expert in my field, I needed to work on becoming an expert in content delivery.” She notes most professors have found themselves in the same scenario, so she wanted to share knowledge that has helped her make the move to academia smoother.

When Pomales started working at Kettering College and met Talbott, they soon realized this desire to serve teachers was something they were both passionate about. Talbott says, “Tea Time is a way to minister to our faculty. They minister so much to our students, and in order to have student excellence, we need to support faculty excellence.”

Pomales was a teacher and transitioned to being an instructional technology coach for teachers before coming to Kettering College. She says, “I help instructors discover how they can integrate technology in a meaningful and impactful way to engage, communicate, and collaborate.” She adds, “A lot of people look at technology as something additional to or separate from instruction, but it is as integral to the classroom — both digital and physical — as a pencil once was.”

“Our goal is to present knowledge in a way that leads students to internalize the material more than just listening and taking pop quizzes.”

-Mia Pomales, Instructional Technologist

Although technology incorporation is a vital topic, the Tea Time sessions encompass every aspect of teaching to deliver helpful resources to instructors. Talbott points out, “We’ll cover different aspects like relating to students; using digital resources to increase your presence and connection; how to improve student-to-student interactions; and all nuances that make the classroom experience even better.”

Pomales adds, “Tea Time is never just about learning a tech tool. It’s more about learning and discussing an aspect of teaching by using a tool and method we introduce to them.” Both women stress the focus is to remind teachers there are resources and support for them, so they are never alone, and teaching is a collaborative act.

This sentiment was reiterated at a recent Tea Time session held at the Ollie Davis campus for occupational therapy faculty. Talbott began the session by reminding the group, “We want you to know we care about you and want to minister to you and your needs.”

“We want to develop capable students, and the capable student is someone who can adjust to any environment because they know the information.”

-Dr. Taryn Talbott, Instructional Designer

The session was called “Fall into Bloom’s” where the team discussed Bloom’s Taxonomy, which is a model of learning objectives. The session looked at institutional outcomes and how they can be implemented by teachers to engage students and introduce materials in a new way to facilitate more discussion. Pomales points out when this is done, students have more voice and ownership in class, and this leads to a higher level of interest in the material.

The October session presented the free Google program, Jamboard, as a tech tool professors can use in their classrooms to help reach students with a range of learning styles. Pomales says, “One of the reasons Taryn and I work so well together is we both approach education from a unique angle of acknowledging that how current students learn material best today is the same way they learned best as children. Everyone has their own style of learning that works for them.”

To reach a variety of learners, professors must implement teaching methods that ignite students to engage with the knowledge. Dr. Talbott says, “We want to develop capable students, and the capable student is someone who can adjust to any environment because they know the information.” Delivery of content by professors is an important mode to not just convey knowledge but to have students embody and apply it.

Pomales acknowledges creating new ways of presenting materials takes extra thought from professors, and it can be admittedly overwhelming. Assisting with this work is precisely the intent of the Tea Time monthly sessions. Pomales says, “Our goal is to present knowledge in a way that leads students to internalize the material more than just listening and taking pop quizzes. We want them to use knowledge to solve problems in the classroom and beyond.” Dr. Talbott says, “We want to be innovative, so the more we discuss and develop new ideas, the better we’ll be as an institution.”

We thank Taryn Talbott and Mia Pomales for their teamwork, service, and ingenuity in sharing their ideas, information and expertise with our faculty who work hard every day to instill knowledge in our future healthcare professionals.

The Tea Time resources and calendar can be found here, so instructors can have easy access to the materials presented in the sessions. The next session will look at course design in December, but if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback before then, please reach out to either Taryn Talbott or Mia Pomales. They look forward to collaborating with faculty and delivering helpful content.


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