I have been privileged to serve on the faculty for the Harvard Macy Institute since 2010. The program that I assist with is the Program for Educators in the Health Professions. Each year around 150 scholars attend two week-long sessions in Boston, Massachusetts, where they participate in activities, projects, and seminars to enhance their teaching skills. The opportunity to participate with this group of faculty mentors has contributed very much to my professional growth. I have benefitted in many ways.
1. Step-back learning – this technique allows individuals to receive counsel from their project team in a session where they are a “fly on the wall”, listening to discussion, questions, and advice for their plans, but unable to respond until the very end. This results in listening with an open mind, and increased readiness for innovation. I have used this technique in my teaching in various small group settings, as well as for the HMI program.
2. Micro-teaching – The first time I had the privilege of micro-teaching, I learned incredibly valuable lessons – I realized that small changes in the way I introduced activities could make a big difference in the learning. Now I try to pay it forward when I counsel my scholars in the program.
3. Case-based discussions – We model a method of case-based discussion teaching during the educator program. This is a marvelous method of teaching first demonstrated at Harvard Business School by C. Roland Christensen.
4. Resource development – Being on the faculty allows us to make lasting friendships with a family of outstanding resources. If you need to connect with someone on a particular campus, there is a good chance that there will be a fellow alumnus there from the HMI. If you are looking for a physician referral anywhere in the United States and abroad, it is likely that you will only be two degrees of separation from your needed referral.
5. Learning and insights – Being part of the faculty goes far beyond leading out in small groups. Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Gooding have developed over the 25 + years a group of tremendously dedicated and effective educators. We are constantly learning from each other. Returning year after year is vital to help us stay in a constantly updated learning mode.