To Assess Teaching Development of Vancouver Aquarium Educators
Summer 2010 – Collaboration with Amy Stephenson, Curriculum Programs Coordinator at the Vancouver Aquarium
I volunteered as a School Programs Educator at the Vancouver Aquarium from 2009-2011. As the summer of 2010 approached and the weekly opportunity to educate and interact with middle school and high school students was coming to a close for the season, I sought out other opportunities to volunteer on a regular basis. I offered to help Amy Stephenson with any program development or administrative projects she was going to tackle during the summer months. What resulted was an opportunity to work collaboratively with Amy on creating self- and peer-evaluations to be used by Vancouver Aquarium educators, both volunteer and employee. Having used and managed peer-feedback forms as an ISW facilitator (and found them incredibly helpful as an ISW participant), I counted on these documents to inspire guided questions that would facilitate rich reflective or peer feedback in the context of educating at the Vancouver Aquarium. As the summer progressed, I facilitated the development process as well as helped design these feedback forms. What began as comparing notes on what we found to be useful questions in the ISW feedback forms culminated into the creation of two evaluation packets, one for self-assessment and the other for peer observation, as well as a resource binder compiling teaching resources such as lesson planning models and questioning types. Beyond the assessments and resources themselves, this project allowed me to refine my skills in facilitating group work and to “play educational consultant” which I really enjoyed.