When I moved to Edinburgh I had done bits of teaching work at Durham and UBC, but I didn't really know whether I'd enjoy it or be any good at it. I've learnt a huge amount over the last few years - both from great colleagues and engaged and engaging students.
I teach on a number of courses in the Geography degree programme in Edinburgh.
I lecture on a first year course that introduces students to Human Geography. There's loads of material crammed into this course, but it's a real privilege to be able to introduce so many of the ideas and concerns that have shaped my thinking about the world to students.
Over the last few years I've led a field trip to Amsterdam. But this year I am organising a new field trip to Berlin. It's been an exciting opportunity to design and develop a field trip...and spend some time in a fascinating city. The field trip is a research elective for 4th year students and offers a kind of apprenticeship in using 'live methods'. Here are some of the posters the students produced as part of their research in Berlin.
I also teach a course for honours students called Encountering Cities. The course introduces some key theoretical approaches in cultural geography (including theories of everyday life, more-than-human geographies, and emotions and affect) and inventive methods to challenge the dominant ways in which cities are studied and understood. The course then puts these theoretical and methodological orientations to work as it focuses on specific cities and particular concerns. For example, different lectures look at everyday multiculture and living with difference in Bradford; walls and urban division in Sao Paulo and Baghdad after the US-led occupation; the postindustrial city through the ruins of Detroit and Dortmund; ghosts and the politics of remembering in Berlin; and the afterlife of terror attacks in wounded cities like London after the bombings on July 7th 2005.
I am also Senior Tutor for Geography undergraduate students. This role involves leading the academic support and guidance for students. As part of this role I've been developing a series of study skills activities for our students:
I was absolutely thrilled to receive a EUSA Teaching Award in 2014 for 'Best Feedback' in the University. It's always lovely to receive nominations for these awards from students - a sign that that our teaching is recognised and appreciated. But I was shocked - and delighted - to walk away with a gong!
I'm also committed to reflecting on my teaching, and to developing and sharing creative teaching methods that enhance student learning. In 2015 I completed the Edinburgh Teaching Award and became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am now mentoring on the Edinburgh Teaching Award, as well as working towards a senior fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.