The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Partners in Pedagogy

Are you interested in mentoring to foster your development as a teacher?
Would you be willing to serve as a mentor for others interested in pedagogy?

TCNJ’s Partners in Pedagogy is a campus-wide mentoring program for all full-time faculty and librarians. Led by Liz Borland, Professor of Sociology and SoTL Faculty Fellow, the Partners in Pedagogy Program create the matches, provide support and resources, and organize activities for mentors and mentees.

Mentoring can be helpful to teachers at all career stages. Partners in Pedagogy offers two types of mentoring matches, both focused on pedagogy:

  • Traditional pairs: 1-on-1 mentoring with one MENTEE and one MENTOR
  • Peer mentoring: 3-4 person PEER CIRCLES to offer mutual mentoring and support

All pairs and mentoring circles will meet at their mutual convenience monthly in Spring ‘23 following an online orientation/training in January. Participants may check out a Get-It Card to “treat” their mentee, mentor, or peer circle to lunch or coffee on campus once a month.

While the Partners in Pedagogy Mentoring Program is sponsored by CETL, it is NOT part of any personnel decision-making. The program is designed to complement, but not replace, existing departmental mentoring. Mentoring matches will be made outside department boundaries but aligned with individual interests and needs.

Sign up to participate by completing this Google form, which should take less than 3 minutes. It includes questions designed to facilitate matching based on areas of interest/expertise.

If you have any questions, please contact Liz Borland.

Testimonials from the 2022-2023 participants:

I am happy that the College has created a formalized, supported space/opportunity for faculty to talk about pedagogy with peers who are also committed to improving their teaching. Many faculty members develop deep content knowledge while pursuing their doctoral degrees but may not have had actual formal training on how to teach their discipline. As a result, we often end up simply teaching like we were taught (for better and worse). Experiences like this program–assuming you have good “partners in pedagogy”–really help to expand “pedagogical imagination,” provide critical feedback, and normalize challenges experienced. The conversations with my partners have been energizing and generative. 

Overall, this has been a good experience and I would likely do it again if the program continues. 

–Michael Smith
Associate Professor of Special Education

Having a mentor outside of my department has been incredibly beneficial for me. I get a different point of view when discussing pedagogy and feel more comfortable talking about specific points of teaching I feel I need to improve on. Furthermore, having dedicated time to discuss pedagogy has led to me more actively engaging with different techniques in my courses. The mentorship program has made me feel more connected with the campus and faculty.

–Alexis Mraz
Assistant Professor of Public Health

Being involved in a mentoring circle has provided insight into the experiences of colleagues in other content areas across campus and new perspectives on research and teaching.

Maureen Connolly
Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Secondary Education

The matching program has been a fantastic opportunity to connect with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher. This year, my focus has been on fostering a collaborative classroom environment that promotes intrinsic motivation to work together outside of the classroom. Although I still have much to learn, I have greatly benefitted from our mentor meetings, where we set specific, attainable goals and engaged in reflective discussions and collaborative problem-solving. I am so grateful for this terrific experience!

–Zachary Kline
Teacher Scholar Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology

This mentoring circle has served so many purposes for me, but I really want to highlight two that were unexpected. One, it has been a great way to connect with individuals outside my department and floor in SSB. As a somewhat new faculty member, I know these relationships are crucial but it is also something that is a little outside of my comfort zone. Therefore, the matched aspect has really helped me forge great relationships with 2 additional colleagues. In our meetings, in addition to teaching and pedagogy, we discuss other important aspects within our role as faculty members. I have not only gained insight and advice on pedagogical practices but also work-life balance, crafting my tenure and promotion packet, service load, etc. 

Two, this peer mentoring circle has really started to transform the way I think about class observations. Since this is a requirement for tenure and promotion it typically causes a lot of anxiety for me. However, with my group, we are all observing each other’s classes for support, feedback, and really to learn from one another. So, this is really starting to transform the way I think about class observations.

–”Assistant Professor in a Peer Circle”

I was feeling disconnected from today’s generation of students and was finding myself becoming more and more of a curmudgeon about technology in the classroom, student entitlement, and different learning styles, but meeting with younger colleagues has freshened my outlook and given my teaching the jolt that it needs to be more effective in today’s classroom.

–Glenn Steinberg
Professor of English