Celebration of Great Teaching Retreat
The Celebration of Great Teaching
had been cancelled for Spring 2020.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Celebration of Great Teaching Retreat has been cancelled. Spring 2020 participants have been notified and will have first priority for next year’s retreat which will be April 16th-18th 2021. If you wish to apply for Spring 2021, please check back in January 2021 for updated information.
This weekend retreat is an opportunity for full-time and adjunct faculty to examine in depth what calls them to teaching and how to be the best they can be.
Where: Flying L Guest Ranch, Bandera, Texas
When: Cancelled for Spring 2020
What: An opportunity for 12 hours of professional development credit. Costs are covered by ACC except for transportation, excursions, or personal incidentals.
- Connect and collaborate with faculty of various disciplines, years in the classroom, and teaching styles.
- Share your classroom successes with ACC colleagues.
- Examine classroom challenges with the support and feedback from faculty colleagues.
- Reflect on your own teaching practice.
- Gain tools and strategies to use in your classroom.
Please contact the Office of Faculty Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 223-7885, if you have any questions.
Austin Community College’s Celebration of Great Teaching is based on the National Great Teaching Seminar, a movement begun in 1969. The time we spend together is like no other professional development you will encounter. Many have said it is the best professional development of their career.
The Celebration of Great Teaching Retreat is based on the Great Teachers Seminars format, begun in 1969 by David Gotshall and Roger Garrison. Hundreds of seminars exist around the country, from institutional to state to regional versions, varying from two-day retreats like ours (the most common length) to one week. This movement is all about empowering faculty and giving them the chance to learn from each other.
David Lydic and Sandra Gaskin began the Austin Community College retreat in 1996 while David served as Coordinator of Faculty Development. Although the retreat was fully funded, it was suspended from 2003 – 2006 due to budget concerns, and was reinstated in 2007 at the request of the Full-Time Faculty Senate. Since that time David Lydic has continued to serve as Lead Facilitator and partnered with Faculty Development to operate the retreat. He works with a team of four facilitators, which may include a past participant, a guest facilitator from the Great Teaching Network, and/or Faculty Development staff, who collaborate to run the organic Great Teaching Retreat Model.
The Celebration of Great Teaching Retreat is sponsored by Austin Community College and coordinated by the Faculty Development Office (1996 – 2002; 2007 – current). The event invites full-time and adjunct faculty in any discipline (including librarians and counselors) to participate. It takes place off campus and runs Friday through Sunday. There is no cost to the participants other than transportation.
The retreat is always held off-site, as one of the tenets of the Great Teachers Movement is that faculty need time away from their campuses to focus on improving teaching. For the past several years, the retreat has been held at the Flying L Guest Ranch in Bandera, Texas. Faculty spend quality time together, sharing teaching successes and challenges. Facilitators listen carefully to small group discussions and then help the participants develop their own agenda for the remainder of the weekend. Deep connections are formed between faculty colleagues. The learning is rich, unique and highly transformative.
The Celebration of Great Teaching Retreat is a very special kind of faculty development. Participation in such a teaching retreat may affect a teacher more permanently, more deeply than any workshop or speaker or seminar or class. Often cited as one of the best professional development experiences in their teaching careers, many participants go on to refer colleagues to apply. The special quality of the retreat and its reputation as a special time for faculty renewal and learning is what prompted the Full-Time Faculty Senate to ask for its reinstatement, and we’ve proudly supported their wishes by offering this unique program at ACC.
Steps to become a Great Teaching Facilitator
#1 Attend ACC’s Celebration of Great Teaching
#2 Be Nominated and Attend the Regional Great Teaching Round Up
- Learn how other Great Teaching Movement Facilitators run a Retreat
#3 Be Nominated and Attend the Great Teaching Leadership Summit
- Receive the full training on how to be a Great Teaching Movement Facilitator
#4 Be Nominated to facilitate the ACC Celebration of Great Teaching