Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Student-Led Teaching Awards are back to recognise outstanding members of learning and support staff. After a challenging year for everyone, we’re celebrating our worthy nominees by shouting about their successes across our digital platforms.
What is your full name?
What is your job title?
Lecturer in TESOL
What school or service do you work in?
Moray House School of Education and Sport
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role.
This is my tenth year working at Moray House. As well as lecturing in TESOL I have a role with internationalisation and working to build a positive diverse community of students and staff. Prior to working in Edinburgh I was at Hiroshima University for 11 years so I have a particularly strong interest in supporting students with developing intercultural skills and scaffolding adaptation to a UK academic context.
What does it mean to you to have been nominated for a Teaching Award this year?
Well, I opened up my email to find 2 nominations today for Teacher of the Year with lovely messages. This is especially meaningful this year, when we have the challenge of teaching at a distance and I’ve had to work out how to adapt classroom enthusiasm and engagement to an online context.
What’s your favourite part of your role and working with students?
My research speciality is pragmatics, an area of linguistics where language and context meet. Teaching this at Masters level with international students gives me endless opportunities to keep learning myself alongside teaching.
How have you adapted your approach to teaching and supporting students under the Hybrid Model this year?
I’ve divided content into smaller chunks: breaking up a 50-minute lecture into 3 or 4 shorter units with critical reflection questions for students. This reflection can become interactive discussions on a course MS Teams page.
What’s been the biggest challenge in your role this year?
Maintaining a healthy routine. I did well in the first lockdown, struggled as we headed into winter, but have regained a positive work cycle as we have gone into 2021. Above all, I think it has been important to embrace the new situation rather than to resist it.
What would you say to the student(s) who nominated you, or students who are considering submitting a nomination for a staff member who has had an impact on them?
Thank you for noticing an aspect of my work and for expressing your gratitude. Teaching online, the usual feedback of (hopefully!) smiles, laughter and conversation at the end of a class, have all gone, so written feedback in the form of these nominations is really valuable.
To find out more about the Teaching Awards and browse nomination categories, please visit the Students’ Association’s website.