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VFF 2015-2016

September 2015

    Dr. Anne Horak
“You had me at PBL: The Jerry Maguire Effect and Student Achievement”
Assistant Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia

The phenomenon called “The Jerry Maguire effect” is based on a study that found that we really do begin to form an impression of a person’s personality from the first word we hear them utter. What are the first impressions about instruction students are getting? What implications does this have for student achievement? What if the first words a teacher uttered about content were, "what’s going on here?" Would students be engaged? Would they achieve? Problem-Based Learning (PBL) begins with an ill-structured problem to capitalize on students’ curiosity from the very first moments of instruction to maximize their content acquisition and engagement. Hear how PBL can be used to produce increased achievement and satisfaction with the learning environment.
  • Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Location: Village Drive Room 101,
    4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
 

October 2015

      Dr. Jaime Lester
“Fostering Civility in Higher Education”
Associate Professor of Higher Education at George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia

Bullying in on the rise in higher education with research finding that over 50% of faculty and staff witness or experience bullying in the workplace. In this interactive presentation, Jaime Lester will present the definition and current research on the antecedents to and implications of bullying. She will conclude with strategies for how individuals, departments, and administrators can help to address bullying in the workplace.

  • Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015
  • Time: 3:30pm-4:30 pm
  • Location: Village Drive Room 101,
    4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
 

November 2015
Promoting Student Agency, Beyond Techniques and Best Practices
Daniel Ginsberg, Georgetown University

Active class participation helps students communicate and clarify their thinking, explore new ideas, and build classroom community, as well as supporting academic language development. Too often, however, students fixate on getting the right answer, leading them to speak up only hesitantly. When they do, they often provide minimal responses that give little sense of their thinking and offer little opportunity to engage in complex academic discourse. So, how can teachers encourage a genuine sharing of ideas?

I explore this question by examining video recordings of a middle school mathematics class for English learners, in which the teacher knows both mathematics and language pedagogy and uses commonly accepted best practices for content-language integrated instruction. Students participate willingly, but still defer to the teacher rather than discussing and advocating for their ideas. I argue that, while technique does bring students to participate, we can only foster complex discussions by promoting student agency, which requires us to decenter our own authority to make space for student engagement.

  • Date:Thursday, November 5, 2015
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Location: Village Drive Room 101,
    4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
 

FEBRUARY 2016
“Listening to your Sixth Sense: Strategies for tuning in to student needs”
Allison Forbes, Student Affairs Manager

Our sixth sense is often referred to as our gut feeling or intuition. It is a personal signal unique to each of us, and awakening it can be beneficial for our interactions with others. As teachers, according to Nadel (2006), unlocking the mind power of our sixth sense can assist us in becoming more tuned in to our students both in and outside the classroom. During this workshop, in addition to discussing how to awaken our sixth sense, I will share examples and insights regarding how this new sort of awareness can help to enhance classroom engagement through a greater understanding of our students’ behaviors, emotions, and thought processes in academic and non-academic environments.

  • Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016
  • Time: 3:30pm-4:30 pm
  • Location: Village Drive Room 101,
    4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030

MARCH 2016

    Sheila Murphy

“Networking and Making Connections”
Sheila Murphy, is Founder/Partner at FlexProfessionals

Many professionals fail to recognize the critical role that networking plays in the job search and professional development process. Most of us avoid it like the plague. Instead, we spend hours — unproductive hours — tweaking our resumes, applying for jobs online, and hiding behind our laptops. Or we force ourselves to network, and the result is that we feel out of place or lose the confidence that is key to effective networking. This workshop will help you to approach networking in an entirely new way. You will identify “easy” networking opportunities using a multi-pronged approach and learn how to effectively market your skills and experiences to others. Learn how to make networking a natural part of what you do, and not just for the purpose of finding a job.

This talk focused on:

  • Importance of having a plan of action when attending a conference or other networking events;
  • How to introduce yourself and give an elevator speech;
  • How to dress for networking events;
  • What to take to a networking function;
  • Do’s and don’ts for downtime;
  • How to select a networking session; and
  • What to do after you make connections.
  • Date: Thursday, March 3, 2016
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Location: Village Drive Room 101,
    4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030