As an educator I take my professional development seriously. I feel like many individuals that learning is a daily thing and becomes a lifelong commitment to

John Coumbe-Lilley, PhD Program Leader

John Coumbe-Lilley, PhD
Program Leader

growth. I made a commitment several years ago to take 5-10 days every year to develop myself professionally.

In the last three years my focus has been to learn how to create greater frequency and types of critical thinking in my classrooms. In particular approaches to engaging students in expressing their intellectual leadership and emotional self. I believe the expressions of student learning may be rational, emotive and behavioral. I do not see these aspects of life as mutually exclusive. At different times like flavors in a meal one will be more dominant than another. Like any great meal the expression of learning, understanding and application is the balance of flavors complementing each other.

Last year I attended the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University and completed a course on how to write and facilitate teaching cases. This year I attended a couple of different opportunities. I took a six week weekly course called Page to Stage with 2ndStory that ended with a storytelling performance. Recently I completed StoryCenter’s Digital Story Telling Workshop. My work from the workshop can be accessed through the link below.

During the workshop I learned how to create a digital story; how a facilitated group process (group process was terrific) and feedback rich environment enhances work. I enjoyed the experience a great deal. Our facilitator Daniel was top draw as was our co-facilitator Cherylin. Over the three days I received about 3 hours of one on one coaching for my work whether it was written, media or technically related. We wrote and revised scripts; learned how to use wevideo cloud based software and how to develop a product from concept to presentation in three days. I was repeatedly surprised by the range, type and frequency of the content, technical and presentation decisions that I needed to make to make my work coherent.Telling a story well takes vision, effort and decision making along with technical capability. I really liked how our emphasis was about content and not ritzy effects. I appreciate why this medium of expression is so enticing to so many people. Seeing your work and others take form and presented can be a bit intoxicating.

Working and learning in a supportive environment like the one created during this workshop was awesome and our group connection (there was six of us) was very strong. It made me reflect how challenging I find it at times to teach and create significant learning experiences when my classes size ranges from 30-112 students. Study abroad is a luxury program for me as it is to work with my colleagues in our nutrition curriculum where the class sizes are contained and I can coach and mentor with greater attentiveness and more focus.