The Teaching-and-Learning Exchange Festival, or TALE FEST, is an event celebrating and supporting Kern CCD educators through the sharing of teaching-and-learning stories and the discussion of strategic new directions in a festive, positive environment showcasing achievement and innovation, peer-learning opportunities, and building district-wide mutual understanding and connections - in support of the goals of continuous improvement toward ensuring student learning and achieving student success with equity. All Kern CCD educators should consider joining us for this event that we hope will spark energy and creativity among all participants.
TALE Fest Goals
Through regular district-wide gatherings, the Kern CCD Teaching-and-Learning Exchange Festival (TALE FEST) aspires to:
- Create opportunities for learning about different approaches to teaching-and-learning in a supportive and positive environment
- Support self-reflection, creativity, and individual efforts by faculty to invest and improve in their instruction and programs
- Increase understanding of the unique needs and experiences of our student populations through the sharing of stories and experiences
- Collectively engage in the development of ideas on ways to improve ensuring student learning with success and equity
- Increase knowledge of and appreciation for colleagues and peers district-wide in Kern CCD
- Foster a sense of belonging for Kern CCD educators
- Generate enthusiasm and motivation for the work of all Kern CCD educators
The Teaching-and-Learning Exchange Festival is organized under the Kern CCD Office of Educational Services with support from the Kern CCD Chancellor's Office:
- Emmanuel Mourtzanos - Vice-Chancellor of Educational Services
- Genevieve Horton - Administrative Assistant for Educational Services
- Robert Simpkins - Faculty Lead & Organizer for TALE FEST, Academic Senate President and Anthropology Professor, Porterville College
About TALE Fest
The Teaching-and-Learning Exchange Festival (TALE FEST) is an event that promotes teaching-and-learning innovation and district-wide collaboration for the Kern Community College District. These goals are shared with other Kern CCD projects initiated since Spring 2022, including the ‘The Future of Teaching-and-Learning’ webinars in the Chancellor’s Seminar Series, The TALE (Teaching-and-Learning Exchange) Blog, and the Faculty Innovation and Leadership Investment Initiative, developed by the Kern CCD Chancellor's Office and the Office of Educational Services.
TALE FEST will be an in-person expression of these goals of innovation and collaboration among Kern CCD educators by creating an environment and space outside of normal work routines, in which people from all three colleges and the district office can be together to meet and learn about each other, collectively brainstorm, and discuss new ways of achieving our goal of improving student success with equity through educational innovation and instructional excellence.
TALE FEST is for any Kern CCD employee who wants to participate in meaningful discussion about the future of teaching-and-learning for Kern CCD, feel that their work and experience give them insights into the event’s goals, and want to hear and engage with others who feel similarly. Many of the topics of discussion will relate to the classroom and instruction, and will be most relevant to instructional faculty, but there are also many areas in which student success in the classroom is impacted by factors outside the classroom (such as student and instructor support services and other areas) and where Kern CCD staff in diverse responsibilities and employment categories have both unique insights into the student experience and perspectives on where changes might occur to benefit student success. Thus the audience may be primarily faculty, but all district employees who are motivated to participate, listen, and share their perspectives are welcome.
Attendance at TALE FEST is limited to Kern CCD employees. One of our goals is to ensure that we have representation from all three colleges at the event, as well as most major instructional areas. In the hope of achieving some of that balance we will be inviting selected Kern CCD employees to register early. TALE FEST is also limited in the total number of individuals who can attend. As a result, we may reach our event capacity before all interested participants have been able to register. We will maintain a wait list to help us be aware of how many employees are hoping to attend, and in the event of cancellations, to ensure as many interested people attend as possible. We also hope that if the event is a success, it can continue annually and that everyone interested will have the opportunity to participate in the future.
Participants will be engaging in facilitated discussions of specific topics relating to the future of teaching-and-learning with a personal, narrative-based approach that will enable everyone to learn about the experiences of their peers, while also encouraging personal reflection and framing experiences in terms of stories to share. We will also be collectively brainstorming and imagining the future of education in Kern CCD, from what we could do to how we could do it. Some discussions will be at tables with your peers, and some will be sharing out with the room, facilitated by our organizers.
If you are a Kern CCD educator, regardless of the number of years you have with the district or in the education profession, we hope that you will find the day worthwhile for the opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues in depth, hear new perspectives, collectively brainstorm about the future, and step away from our usual routines and distractions in a relaxed, supportive setting. You might meet new people, learn new things, help others learn about new things, and leave the day excited about your work and ready to explore new ways to help our students succeed.