Portrait of Authorby Hoda Tavakoli, Adjunct Associate Professor, Mathematics

I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Faculty Learning Community for the year 2021-2022.

The FLC training and approach has given me insight to pay more attention to my surroundings, to be more aware of differences and try to incorporate daily society news/ issues into my teaching materials. In addition, FLC helped me to build a better community in my classes by allowing students to be themselves and express their opinions with no fear of being criticized or judged. It resulted in a more welcoming and inclusive classroom.

In general, I found the topic of women and gender study harder to apply to my math classes compared to other colleagues in my group. But one advantage of being part of a good group was productive feedback, my group helped me to focus more on the visual and graphing aspect of the daily issues and ask students to analyze graphs, draw mathematical models from raw data, or look for possible biases within the study.

This yearlong training made me think twice when I created my class materials; I paused and stood back to see what else could be added to better reflect student background, lives, and issues through math application problems. For part of my effort to include every student in class, I started to look if I am using names from all different cultures in my word problems and try my best to add questions that better reflect student population; so, there will be a moment that each one of them can connect with a word problem and feel that they belong here.

Another big place that I revisited was to consider my probability problems and make sure that I get rid of the gender binary questions or make it clear to students at the beginning that not all genders can be categorized as a male or female. I look forward to being able to teach statistics courses where I can incorporate more of my learned knowledge from FLC along with a wide variety of daily life scenarios.

Thank you FLC (2021-2022) for providing such an enriching learning environment.