Great Teacher’s Seminar


MONDAY, AUGUST 3 – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2020

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System with support from the Faculty Advisory Council will sponsor the 28th annual West Virginia Great Teachers Seminar in August held virtually this year in response to the continued challenges presented by the Corona Virus pandemic. Like its counterparts in more than 25 states, Canada, and the Pacific Rim, the focus of the seminar will be on innovations and challenges of instruction at the college and university level. Faculty members from every higher education institution in West Virginia are encouraged to apply as we address the problems and promises of online instruction.

The focus:

The workshop focus is not on teaching specific disciplines, but rather on the art of teaching – and online teaching in particular. The emphasis is wholly on the special nature of those who are and aspire to be great teachers. The GTS is based on the notion that, if properly tapped, the collective wisdom, experience and creativity of any group of practicing educators far surpasses that of any individual expert or consultant.


The structure of the seminar evolves from the initial innovations and challenges workshops. Experienced and inexperienced college educators learn from each other. Underlying all activities is the challenge to characterize and define the “great teacher.”

The site:

In order to guarantee the safety of all participants, this year’s seminar will take place virtually and rely heavily on Zoom technology and Google docs. Activities will be conducted both synchronously and asynchronously beginning at 9 AM on August 3rd and ending at 1 PM on August 5th. Those wishing to participate must commit to faithfully participate in all seminar activities to the exclusion of other work
or social/family commitments during that time frame and There will, of course, be lunch breaks from approximately 12 to 1 but please plan to be active from 9 to 4:30 on Monday and Tuesday and willing to do some research or reading in the evenings.

The purpose:

  • To celebrate good teaching.
  • To challenge educators to venture beyond the limits of their own specializations and environments in search of transferable ideas and the universals of teaching.
  • To promote a spirit of introspection and self-appraisal by providing a relaxed setting and straightforward process whereby participants can seriously review and contemplate their attitudes, methods and behaviors as teachers.
  • To practice rational analysis of instructional problems and to develop realistic and creative approaches to their solutions.
  • To stimulate the exchange of information and ideas by building an expanding state-wide network of communication among teachers in higher education.

The Staff:

Steve Smith, a former faculty member from the Carolina area and long time under study to David Gottshall, the founder of the GTS movement, will lead our workshop.  After 25 consecutive years, David Gottshall led his very last workshop right here in West Virginia in 2017 and passed the baton to Steve in order to keep the magical art of the GTS alive. The staff of 5 experienced facilitators is composed of former seminar participants. For more information, contact Mark Goldstein at mgoldsteinwv@gmail.com

Enrollment:

To ensure a quality experience, enrollment is limited. Each college and university may register for two faculty slots for the seminar. Participant registration forms must be submitted by July 1 and will be available from the Provost/Chief Academic Officer at each institution.

 Each participant will be expected to bring with him/her:

  •  An INNOVATION PAPER: A one-page paper describing a personally attempted (and relatively successful) teaching innovation. Bring 30 copies with your name and institution.
  • A PROBLEM PAPER: A one-page paper describing a problem or concern you have encountered while teaching in classroom or lab for which you have not found a workable answer, 30copies, with name.
  • A TRICK OF THE TRADE: A single teaching idea or tool (home made or commercial, original or borrowed, subject-oriented or universally applicable) which has enhanced your teaching.
  • An INSPIRATION: a book, journal article, publication, or other resource that you have found particularly helpful or inspiring to you and/or your teaching.
  • For more information on your campus and registration forms, contact your ACF representative or Provost/Chief Academic Officer.

For more information or t download the registration sheet, please click below.

GTS Information Sheet

GTS Registration Sheet 2020