Online signups available to join class live or via Zoom
By Richard Simonds for Ashland.news
Have special interests, skills, or knowledge you think others might like to know? You don’t need to have a background in education to share it. Starting Monday, a three-class primer entitled “Introduction to Teaching at OLLI” meets over three weeks to give you the tools on how to effectively communicate what you know. Enrollees can choose to attend in person or online.
The Rogue Valley has a place that gives people from all kinds of backgrounds an opportunity to be the teacher that has been in their dream. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University (OLLI at SOU) is the place where your dream can be realized. A special bonus is that instructors get to learn more about what they are teaching during the preparation for teaching their class. Being a teacher is an exercise in learning, too, according to volunteer instructors who’ve been there.
“I care deeply about helping people to maintain a livable planet,” recalls Jim Hartman. “In my first class I had about 70 students. The OLLI team helped me write my course proposal and reviewed my course materials. … I look forward to teaching my fourth class with OLLI.”
“I was a volunteer and board member at a large country estate in the San Francisco Bay Area, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation,” said Laura Zanger. “When I moved to Ashland in July 2020 … a friend told me about OLLI at SOU. I immediately got a membership and signed up for classes. One of the OLLI team members knew of my work at the historic estate and suggested I teach a class about it.
“I worked with the ‘New to OLLI’ team to develop a course proposal that would have six sessions. I would teach the first one and then have five of the estate’s directors teach about their area of responsibility and expertise. It was a complex model to have five presenters … but with the help of the OLLI Curriculum Committee and Technology Committee, it worked well.”
OLLI has a strong support team to help student teacher become effective teacher, vouches Kathleen Woods, the OLLI Volunteer Curriculum Committee Liaison.
“We have 17 OLLI liaisons who have specific subject backgrounds in 11 different categories of courses to help ‘New to OLLI’ instructors during their first teaching experience with OLLI,” she said. “Ashland is fortunate to have such a vibrant and diverse learning community.”
The class description for “Introduction to Teaching at OLLI”says enrollees will learn about OLLI and the OLLI learner, hear from experienced instructors about teaching online and, in the classroom, lecturing and leading discussions and teaching hands-on skills. Seasoned instructors will also help with course design.
This course will be led by the OLLI Curriculum Committee and will include some distinguished guests. The facilitators of this course are the co-chairs of the Curriculum Committee, Ginny Blankinship and Anne Coleman.
Contact Ashland resident Richard Simonds by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was written for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Community Journalism at Ashland.news class during the winter 2023 quarter.