In this section, Kate Mytty shares her insights about co-teaching EC.716 D-Lab: Waste.
An Opportunity to Get Feedback on Teaching Plans
I co-taught the Fall 2015 version of EC.716 D-Lab: Waste with my colleague, Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar. We each facilitated every other class session. Before each session, we discussed our teaching plans with each other. We talked through our learning goals for students and the key points we hoped they’d take from the learning experiences we designed. We used these conversations as an opportunities to offer each other suggestions for improving our agendas for the sessions.
Offering Students Different Disciplinary Perspectives
Pedro has a strong technical background. I come from an urban planning and ventures background. It was beneficial to be able to offer students different lenses through which they could examine the subject of waste.
Learning from Each Other’s Teaching Styles
In addition to his strong technical background, Pedro also brought to the course robust pedagogical skills. Prior to teaching EC.716 D-Lab: Waste, I had taught several short-term workshops, but Pedro, had a lot of experience teaching semester-long courses.
I learned a lot from him and his approach to engaging students. He has a knack for asking really good questions and creating interactive experiences in the classroom. For example, during the first part of one class session each week, we’d put on sunglasses and put up a cardboard sign that said we were “open for questions.” We answered questions students submitted at the end of the previous session about anything (large or small) they wanted to know about waste. The two of us would research these questions and share our findings. It was meant to be playful. It was really important to have these playful moments because the topic of waste can be overwhelming and daunting. Having fun together and with our students helped keep students engaged.