Join Us: “New Normal” Teaching Circle

Dear Colleagues,

We hope that you have enjoyed your summer. We invite your ideas and involvement in an upcoming Teaching Circle themed What does new normal mean? to meet biweekly via Zoom beginning August 9, 2021. Sign up and add to your calendar.

“What does new normal mean” for our students, our teaching, and our institution. Find out as we uncover anticipated challenges, followed by ideas about how to overcome them. Teaching Circles are collaborative communities where Clarkson colleagues connect to share ideas and strategies. 

If interested, please read on and join us! 

Teaching Circle: What does new normal mean?

The pandemic is slowing and life is beginning to settle back into former rhythms. Yet, as we emerge from quarantine and navigate the post-pandemic world, we realize that the ‘old normal’ is gone forever. Life—indeed, even academic life—will be forever changed by the mark of COVID-19. What does that mean for us? For our students? For University policies? We will probe these questions in a four-session Teaching Circle. Beginning Monday, August 9, join circle facilitator Alexander Cohen and peers as they begin to meet bi-weekly via Zoom to share discussions around the “new normal” at Clarkson University.  More on Teaching Circles below. 

We will meet:

  • Monday, August 9, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Monday, August 23, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Monday, September 6, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Monday, September 20, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Bring your lunch if you like!

Get Started: 

Join Teaching Circles in Moodle and register for Zoom and add to your calendar. 

Have Ideas?

When possible, we like to include faculty and staff in the planning and facilitation of sessions. Is there something relevant that you’d like to talk about? Is there a reading or talk that we might want to discuss? Experiences to share or problems to solve? Reach out to Alexander Cohen ( and we’ll work to incorporate them into the Circle! If you have ideas for other, future Teaching Circles, likewise let him know!

Teaching Circles Overview:

The Institute for STEM Education and the Teaching Mentoring Program Committee are proud to sponsor Clarkson University’s Teaching Circles Program.  First launched in Spring 2020, Teaching Circles are intended to host communities interested in sharing concerns and interests around topics of interest related to teaching and learning. Teaching circles are safe spaces in which colleagues (1) generate and share developments related to teaching, (2) ideate innovations or interventions designed to enhance student learning, (3) seek scholarly research and resources to inform and support implementation of trials. 

Suggest a circle topic or start your own: Our aim is to grow the number of circles based on topics and interest from within the Clarkson community. You can help shape this program with your willingness to get involved. Suggest a topic, facilitate a circle or contribute suggestions. More on this in Moodle.

When applicable, teaching circles will contribute to Clarkson’s greater community of teaching and learning through presentations/publication of findings to colleagues. 

Participation is open to any faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants, and is not restricted to STEM fields or instructional modality.  Read below for more information. Contact us at with any questions or reach out if you would like to pose a Teaching Circle topic.

What to expect:

  1. Each circle will be theme or topic focused and is guided by a facilitator or co-facilitators. Facilitators are responsible for organizing circle meetings, posting to the circle’s online forum, circle goal setting & check ins, facilitate discussions, arranging for outside expertise (speakers, guest contributors, etc) and encouraging members to contribute fully.  Facilitators volunteer in this leadership role for professional development and exploration of topics of interest. 
  2. Circle Rules:
  • Join as many circles as you like
  • Drop out of a circle at any time
  • Participate actively  
  • Be respectful and inclusive
  1. Teaching circle members will engage in active discussion and contribution is encouraged. Circles meet via Zoom for bi-weekly discussions and will have a home in a Moodle course, as a platform for hosting/sharing resources, facilitating online discussion.

How to Join Teaching Circles:

Click to enroll in the Teaching Circles course in Moodle and complete the Choose a Teaching Circle activity.  

For questions, contact a Teaching Mentoring Program Committee Member:

Alexander Cohen,

Kathleen Kavanagh,

Laura Perry,

Christopher Robinson,

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