I’m Julie Dodd, an educator who has taught at the University of Florida for more than 25 years.
Whether you are a college faculty member, a teaching assistant, an adjunct, a teacher at the K-12 level, or someone interested in learning more about teaching in general, I hope you’ll find this website to be helpful.
Some resources and posts are specific to higher education. The website also includes a page of resources for University of Florida faculty and graduate teaching assistants.
Most issues discussed on this website can be applied to teaching at any level. Prior to earning my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Kentucky, I taught high school English and journalism. My teaching at both the high school and college levels benefitted from the courses I took in pedagogy, my student teaching experience, and working with a number of inspiring teaching mentors.
I served as co-chair of the Journalism Education Association’s Mentoring Program, which matches new high school media teachers with experienced media teachers. That was another great learning experience for me as a teacher who was mentoring new teachers.
So I’m familiar with teaching and learning in different school settings and with different age groups.
An important aspect about teaching is that you as the teacher need to be a learner, too. That is, if you want to be an excellent teacher.
My teaching assignment at the University of Florida provided me the opportunity to learn about effective teaching with a large auditorium class. During my career at UF, I taught more than 11,000 undergraduate students.
A special part of teaching a large writing course was working with teaching assistants and adjuncts who were the lab instructors. Some semesters I worked with more than 300 students, 14 labs, and eight or nine lab instructors.
I also taught Mass Communication Teaching, a graduate course for teaching assistants and graduate students who hope to go into a career in teaching. Many of the posts on this website were written by students in that class – providing a summary about a topic they taught in class.
I serve on UF’s Graduate Teaching Assistants Awards Committee and have observed TAs from a wide range of subjects — Acting for Non-Majors, Black Psychology, Integrating Technology into the Elementary Classroom, Entomology, and Art History. Preparing to observe the TAs includes reading their teaching philosophies and their syllabi. Through my observations, I’ve learned more about the UF curriculum and have observed some of the university’s top teaching assistants.