TTR is a guided set of immersive collaborative sessions designed for teacher teams (teachers of the same course program), aimed at making teaching more inclusive and supportive of/for a diverse student body and offering teaching staff tools and support necessary to constructively deal with challenges and questions in a diverse classroom. The main goal of TTR is:
Empowering teacher teams to develop their capacity and confidence to enable a diverse student population to engage, belong and learn successfully.
TTR is best embedded in the other #Ibelong activities: the Dialogue Days and the Community Mentoring Program. Teachers can be directly involved in the organization and facilitation of the Dialogue Days and draw from experiences in the Community Mentoring Program
TTR consists out of 3 to 4 sessions:
- Introductory session: Towards a Frame of Reference for Sense of Belonging. The goal is to a) introduce the concept of Sense of Belonging to your Teacher Team and b) collect input for a Frame of Reference on Sense of Belonging formulated by members of the teacher team.
- 2 to 3 follow up meetings: Reflection on Sense of Belonging Cases. Teachers discuss sense of belonging cases at their course program and discuss constructive strategies for the future. Case reflections will be guided by the Framework of Reference on Sense of Belonging.
#iBelong aims at improving the sense of belonging and outcomes of all students -especially non-traditional students such as first-generation students and students from migrant background- through creating more inclusive learning environments in higher education. Because teaching staff has an important impact on the institutional culture and practices (e.g. in class dynamics, the teacher-student power relation) it is crucial that teachers, especially teachers in Year 1 of a course program, are aware of the diversity of students and can effectively engage with students from diverse backgrounds to create and shape an inclusive learning environment. For this purpose, the Team Teacher Reflection (TTR) is designed as part of the #iBelong-program.
We strongly recommend planning the introductory session as soon as possible after the opening of the academic year. The follow up sessions are scheduled throughout the rest of the year, to keep continued focus on Sense of Belonging. We further recommend integrating activities into regular staff meetings to make sessions as accessible as possible for teaching staff.
TTR is a teacher team effort: participants are active in Year 1 of the same course program. This is important to stress, because the sustainability of sense of belonging initiatives depends on the active support, involvement, and collaboration within a teacher team (preferably including management and support staff).
When performing the full program (introductory session plus three follow up sessions), TTR has a total yearly workload of approximately 18 hours for Team Leads and 5 hours for participating teachers.
After the first year of implementation the Year 1 teacher team can regularly check if the Frame of Reference on Sense of Belonging needs updating. The follow up sessions have to continue as part of the ongoing process of creating an inclusive learning environment at the course program.
TTR Introductory Session
Overall learning objectives:
- Experiencing inclusion and exclusion by performing the Power Walk exercise to raise (further) awareness on issues concerning diversity and inclusion.
- Formulating a Framework of Reference on Sense of Belonging, which will serve as a guideline for further sense of belonging actions during the remainder of the academic year.
TTR follow up sessions
Overall learning objectives:
Expanding the repertoire of staff to strengthen sense of belonging of a diverse group of students by reflecting on sense of belonging cases and discussing constructive strategies for the future.