The Legacy of Moderation Continues:
The Astrolrner@CAE Guest Moderator Program
Amy Forestell; SUNY New Paltz
This month Astrolrner@CAE (our academic moderated listserv on teaching college-level astronomy) has a changing of the guard in Guest Moderation. Taking over for Patrick Len (Cuesta College) is Amy Forestell (SUNY New Paltz). Patrick has been such a fantastic moderator—I am sure everyone has enjoyed his Moderator Mondays as much as I have—and he will be missed, but not gone. Patrick, thank you for volunteering your time and energy to help keep Astrolrner@CAE lively and focused on improving teaching and learning!! You rock! And we expect to keep hearing from you. Amy, welcome!! I know I’ve enjoyed your many thoughtful posts to Astrolrner@CAE in the past. I can’t wait to read what you have in store for us as Guest Moderator. Below, we hear from Amy about how she got involved with us at CAE, how it has benefited her, and what she hopes to bring to Astrolrner@CAE.
Hi all, I am Amy Forestell from SUNY New Paltz, and I am pleased to be your next Astrolrner@CAE Guest Moderator. I first learned about CAE as a graduate student, when I attended the Cosmos in the Classroom conference in 2007. I am so grateful that there were faculty members at my institution who told me about the conference and encouraged me to attend. It was there that I heard about many things, like Lecture-Tutorials and Think-Pair-Share, for the first time. I thought “Montillation of Traxoline” was revolutionary. Since then I have been a regular at the pre-AAS CAE Teaching Excellence workshops and recently co-hosted the CAE Northeast Regional Teaching Exchange (with former Guest Moderator, Paul Robinson) at my campus.
As a new faculty member my early experience with CAE was crucial. So many young faculty have no training in how to teach and enter their first semester blindly. I was fortunate to have developed a great plan that I was eager to implement and had a community to help answer my questions. That first year was tough enough that I can’t imagine having to do it without my CAE preparation. Therefore my first homework assignment to you as your moderator is to ask you to think of any early-career colleagues that should be a part of our community and encourage them to attend a workshop or join the listserv. (While you’re at it feel free to throw in a mid- or late-career faculty member as well.)
Now CAE and Astrolrner@CAE continue to help me grow as an educator, refocusing my efforts and reminding me of what is important in the classroom. Since I am at a small school the CAE interactions are often the only chances that I get to talk to other astronomy educators. I hope that being moderator will further help me to grow professionally, and I also hope to encourage others to share in this great resource that has been so valuable to me. To that end I will continue the tradition of posting regular questions or topics of discussion. Let me know if you have any suggestions for topics you would like me to bring up (email@example.com)!