Communities of Practice

"Like an extended conversation at the water fountain--an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other."
COP Faculty Learner

A community of practice is a semester-long, or short-term, commitment to a community of faculty who are focused on actively changing one aspect of their instructional practice.

Besides being a wonderful opportunity to work with your colleagues on a specific lesson, it can count for hours of FLEX, or can contribute to your PG&D project (pending committee approval), or associate faculty can apply for a stipend (up to 20 hours, depending on the COP). There is a limited number of stipends available. You will be notified before All College Week if you have received a stipend.

No, the COPs are open only to faculty who have a contract to teach at WVC that same semester. Please watch for future COP opportunities!

Not as much as you think! When you join a COP, you agree to:

  • Participate in an initial Launch Party and connect with your Teaching Teammate (a fellow faculty member in the program who will be your partner as you both modify/create ONE lesson).
  • Week 2-10 of semester: Meet with Teaching Teammates to solidify the lesson creation that you began working on together in the initial Launch Party. REMEMBER: You each only create/modify one lesson!!!
  • Week 6-11 of semester: Teach the lesson/Publish the module and observe your Teaching Teammates teaching their lesson or review their published module, including assignments, using the 2+2 Observation protocol (2 compliments/2 suggestions or questions for discussion).
  • Week 13 of semester: Present your lesson and your reflection to the wider community at the incredibly supportive and engaging Teaching Showcase.

Still Not Convinced?

Here is what your faculty colleagues said about their experiences in a COP:

Even though I'm at the end of my teaching career, but I'm still very excited to join the group to motivate myself in adopting new pedagogy; so to me "Never too late to transform!

Math Faculty Member

I joined the {community of practice} not really knowing what to expect, or really anticipating getting anything substantive out of it. Was I wrong! It was a wonderful experience working with my colleagues, hearing their feedback, offering my own, and ultimately growing as an instructor from this experience. I would highly encourage all faculty to go through this process!

Spring COP Participant

Ready to sign up?

Join Us in a Community of Practice

Launch Party: Thursday, January 27th from 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Students come to college with the goal of entering the workforce, but often we, as faculty, forget to be explicit with them about how what they are learning connects to their career path. In this COP, faculty will engage with some background information on Work-based skills, learn about the resources WVC has to help us engage our students in career exploration and skills, and begin to work on modifying/implementing a career-based/work-based skills lesson into a current course they are teaching.

Launch Party: Tuesday, January 25th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Confronting racist and biased remarks/instances in the classroom can leave us feeling frustrated and ineffective. We are constantly engaging in self-doubt as we wish we were better trained or more empathetic in our responses. The idea of confronting racism with empathy is one that our guest, Ali Michael has written about and researched. She will guide us as we practice actively and empathetically confronting racist and biased behaviors. This COP will start with a Launch Party, continue with meetings throughout the semester, and end with a wrap-up discussion with Dr. Michael.

Launch Party (attend BOTH sessions): Monday, January 24 from 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM & Wednesday, January 26 from 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Hammond (2014) asserts that brains need safety to learn, and that all brains are capable of learning if provided the right environment. Faculty who foster connections between students, honor and raise up diverse voices, and believe all students enter the classroom with a wealth of knowledge and experiences, create positive classroom environments that allow students to learn and grow. This SOAD-specific COP will engage faculty in an examination of CRT and support them as they modify ONE lesson in their course to be more culturally-responsive.

Launch Party (attend BOTH sessions): Monday, January 24 from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM & Wednesday, January 26 from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Equity in Education is every teacher’s responsibility and aim. How we engage in equitable practices is often elusive and appears to take herculean effort. However, the faculty in this Biology-specific COP will be discussing and generating ways that they can modify ONE aspect/lesson/assessment in their course to be more equitable.

Launch Party: Tuesday, January 25th from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The future is a story yet to be written, and today's students will write tomorrow's chapters. Faced with a changing environment, violence, and unequal opportunity in their own classrooms, students care deeply about solving problems in their schools, communities, and the larger world. We educators are coauthors, but is our curriculum leading them toward a new story of opportunity? Using the free guide, "Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability" by Susan Santone, we will develop new ways to improve learning by meeting standards within meaningful context and implement small curriculum makeovers around real-world concerns.

For more information, please contact Michelle Francis.

Last Updated 12/20/21