Instructors Gear Up for Spring at Teaching Essentials Conference


Courtesy of Faculty Development.

On Wednesday, Jan. 21, instructors, directors and staff from across Academy of Art University, gathered at 180 New Montgomery for Faculty Development’s annual Teaching Essentials Conference to share and brush-up on teaching skills.  

Workshops focused on core areas of teaching, such as lesson planning, facilitating critiques and creating rubrics. There were also panels led by faculty and staff on topics ranging from “First Semester Lessons Learned” to “Maintaining High Standards.” 

We asked some of the conference-goers why they were inspired to attend. 

Tom Molanphy, an instructor for Liberal Arts said, “Teachers, understandably, get wrapped up in the challenges and successes of their own classes during the semester. The AAU Teacher’s Conference is an invaluable reminder that we are a community of teachers … [and] starts off the semester on the right note.”

ARC coach Mike Sciarappa added, “The conference always renews my excitement for working with students. Too much time behind a desk or a computer makes me feel a little stale, and seeing my colleagues face-to-face reignites enthusiasm for doing what we do best. It’s a lot of fun to get away from your day to day work life and go to the conference.”

School of Web Design + New Media Associate Director Andrea Pimentel said that her department appreciates the teaching conferences, because they can trust and rely on Faculty Development to get instructors started off on the right foot with important teaching skills.


She shared that one new instructor came up to her raving about a workshop that provided him with a structured plan for approaching grading.

Another new instructor from the School of Web Design + New Media, Beth Middleworth, said, “I had so much fun [at the conference] - really nice meeting the other new teachers in my department.”

These are just a few reasons why we hope to see even more Academy instructors at the Teaching Expo next fall. All instructors and staff are invited and encouraged to attend these free Academy professional development events. 

In the meantime, instructors can always contact Faculty Development to discuss teaching questions, concerns and ideas at We look forward to a great Spring 2015 semester. Thanks to all who were able to join us last month!