Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Welcome and series kick-off!

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Welcome to fall 2021 term!

First of all, thank you for the incredible work you have done to support each other, to support our students, and to support our staff over the past year and a half. Many of you have made great sacrifices to uphold the college’s vision for equitable student success while balancing the trauma of life during a pandemic. I continue to be amazed and humbled by your courage and creativity.

It is natural to feel overwhelmed by change and to crave some basic affirmation of your efforts to be a great instructor, so I hope you will find our upcoming blog series timely and valuable. Maybe you’ll learn a few new strategies or maybe you’ll say, “I’m already doing that.” In any case, I want you to walk away from this series knowing your online courses and your instruction are the lifeblood of realizing a more equitable learning environment at our college.

I hope the series will help you better understand how the college’s vision for equity as it is realized in your teaching. It’s important to remember that initiatives rise and fall on our ability to implement them at the most basic levels. They don’t fail because they weren’t packaged nicely or people couldn’t find them on our website. Your efforts collectively as instructors have the potential to decrease or eliminate disparities in student outcomes when girded by intentional and effective student support outside of the “classroom.” You play a critical role.

So sit back and enjoy the coming blog posts. The challenges of teaching have never been greater than they are right now, so even if you try just one new strategy this term, it could very well be enough. Know that the small changes in your courses and teaching can make a big difference when repeated across all of your courses and over many terms. Imagine the potential impact when similar efforts are shared by your colleagues.

I wish you the best of fortune in this year and the continued courage and strength we all need.