Update: I did not win the prize but I win by having the support of great colleagues and students with whom I work everyday.
A note about this post
This is a slightly modified version of the letter I wrote to apply for an award for “Inspirational Professor”. I’ve done some reformatting for the blog format but the content is the same as what I sent to the awards committee.
How I created more impact on students by paying more attention to teachers.
I wish to leave the main petition for my application as an inspirational professor in the words (and hands) of my colleagues that I worked with over the past years and in particular for the purposes of this award in 2014. You will find letters of recommendation from my colleagues in the folder labeled professors. Some of these are professors from Campus Guadalajara, others are professors from other campuses or staff working in support of educational innovation at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. A colleague from outside of our system also sent a short note which I choose to include since it shows the impact my writing and sharing has on educators and students globally. I implore you to read those letters since there is no better way to show support for my inspiring of teachers than from the hand of those teachers themselves.
Note that these letters referenced above are not linked here since I didn’t request permission to publish those. If I do get permission, I will include those here too.
Nevertheless, I should leave a list here of my accomplishments during the calendar year 2014. Much of this can be gleaned from my curriculum vitae (long and short versions included in my submission) but those documents tend to be cold without leaving intent or a story with it. More of the story can be found in my twenty six blog posts in 2014. Much of my preparation of this letter was aided by a review of those posts. Most are academic in nature and related to my work in education but a few of those posts may be related to general life. Feel free to skip the ones that do not interest you.
I find myself in Vancouver at SIGGRAPH 2014. This was the same location of my first conference back at OOPSLA 1992. I was still an undergraduate student in Computer Science at the University of Victoria, Bjorn Freeman-Benson was my professor of a topic course in Object-Oriented Programming and had invited us to be volunteers at some conference in Vancouver. Little did I know that this would lead to me volunteering with OOPSLA, SIGPLAN and the ACM from 1994 through 2007 as a member of the conference organizing committee.
Strange how one small event leads to so much in life. I could write volumes about how OOPSLA has impacted mine.
This week I started a course on Flipped Learning for about 70 teachers in the RZO (Rectoria Zona Occidente) as part of their professional development program. This course is given online in a format that is an experiment for myself and the teachers in the course.
I’ve never done a course like this and this is the first time that I am teaching to people that I can’t reach out and physically touch in the classroom. There are in fact two colleagues from Campus Guadalajara in the course so I have some direct feedback which I think will help me.
I’m finishing up my 4th semester of applying a flipped classroom and with some encouragement from my peers I decided to “take it to the next level” this semester. Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams call this the Flipped Mastery Method.
This semester my classes have a list of topics that each student needs to demonstrate their mastery in. The format for showing their mastery is completely open and graded on an OSU (Outstanding, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory) scale.