Dr. Layman helped prepare me to design and teach my first course. I observed his class Applied Ecology in the fall of 2014 and gave two guest lectures throughout the semester. Craig was an ideal mentor for me because he saw my participation valuable for a full feedback loop; I gave him feedback after each one of his classes in the fall, while he gave me feedback for my classes in the spring. We not only met weekly, but he incorporated my suggestions into his syllabus, while I incorporated his as well. Craig was essential for my sanity and confidence as I worked on getting up in front of the class each week; just knowing that he had previewed my material beforehand was a boost that I needed.
Through working with Craig, I realized that in order to make a reflection-based STEM seminar work, I needed to be very intentional with students to ensure we had mutual expectations. He encouraged me to make rubrics for every assignment and provide them with examples when applicable. I still have more work to do on clearly defining my expectations, as students commented at the end of the semester, however, now that I have a collection of student work, I have a much better perspective to make adjustments.