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Writer: University News
The Spori Summit is patterned on the Great Teacher's Seminar model and is designed to allow open discussion about teaching challenges and successes with colleagues from across all disciplines. This overnight retreat is typically held in Victor, ID every fall. It is a faculty sponsored retreat run by the Collaboration Committee.
Traditionally, this retreat allows professors from various backgrounds the opportunity to share ideas and about instruction in a relaxed atmosphere. It is also an opportunity to develop lasting friendships with colleagues from across campus that care deeply about learning the art of teaching.
During the course of the summit, faculty members receive the chance to share ideas and techniques that have worked for them in their own classrooms. They share books that have had a significant impact on their development as professional educators. The core of the summit, however, is focused on discussing difficulties faced by instructors and brainstorming ways to meet those difficulties.
Forums like the Spori Summit rarely provide absolute answers to the manifold challenges educators typically face, but they do provide a much-needed venue for gaining insight, exploring options, and seeing what has worked for others. Here are some comments by members of the faculty who have participated in the past:
"The Spori Summit has been a great blessing to me personally and the campus as a whole. It is very refreshing to meet with faculty from a wide variety of disciplines. I have learned that our subject matter may differ, but our challenges and triumphs are very similar. Upon reflection, I think that the Spori Summit has had a greater positive impact on my teaching than any other single experience. It can be difficult to break away from classes, but the rewards are great. I strongly recommend that each faculty member take advantage of this professional development opportunity."
"The Spori Summit let me re-examine what I do in the classroom. Through conversation and brainstorming I was able to gather ideas and approaches from instructors with different backgrounds than my own. The ideas they shared with me have already changed what I do in class."
"Spori Summit was a rejuvenating feast. It gave me a chance to get to know colleagues from across campus. As we shared successes and challenges, I was impressed with the openness, and it motivated me to reach out to others both to gain insights and share my own experience, so we can all grow and serve our students more effectively. Spori Summit served to polish the lens a little, so I can see more clearly how I can work smarter to impact my students."
"Spori Summit is an amazing experience. The relaxed, safe atmosphere encourages communication and discussion where ideas and teaching challenges can be shared freely. The outcome of the discussions provides an opportunity for the Spirit to teach you those things which you can do in the classroom to improve teaching. Those discussion ideas have also helped me make ongoing commitments which have enhanced my learning and teaching. I have raised my level of expectations and most students are striving to comply by coming to class prepared and teaching others the concepts and principles they have learned. "
The Faculty Collaboration Committee is happy to announce that the fall 2012 Jacob Spori Teaching Summit, will be held from September 27-28, 2012 at the Sky Mountain Ranch. The retreat will begin Thursday afternoon and will conclude Friday evening. To reserve a place in advance, please send a reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations need to be confirmed by Friday, September 21st. Plan now to fit this into your syllabi for Fall Semester.