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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Alice Kinder


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Alice Kinder, instructor of English, for her focus on building communities within each of her classes, and her clear dedication to teaching and student success.

Alice teaches a wide variety of courses and corresponding student populations and venues from freshmen through seniors. She teaches both beginning and advanced writing courses as well as a wide range of literature and culture courses including Southern Literature and Appalachian Literature. She also teaches large lecture classes (with 70 to 80 students enrolled).

As a part of building strong communities of learners, Alice knows all of her students by name and requires each student to learn the names of his or her classmates. These communities of learners are held together by collegial conversation about the subject matter. In addition to her emphasis on community, Alice uses humor and storytelling to help bring the subjects to life. The students feel a lasting connection with her.

Alice's teaching excellence has been recognized with ACTE and the English Department's Joyce Gentry Smoot Award. Her development of a new on-line version of her course in Detective Fiction (English 1624) has been supported with an IDDL development grant.

One of Alice’s colleagues noted, “Alice Kinder has been one of the teachers about whom I have heard not just consistently good but quite wonderful things. Although she is truly a ‘veteran’ teacher, she rests on neither past achievements nor outdated lectures. In fact, she hardly rests at all. She can teach anything from First-Year Composition to Technical Writing, Southern Lit to Appalachian Lit.”

Her colleagues explain that she is willing to stretch her skills. After being for years one of the "go-to" instructors of Technical Writing, she learned to teach the course online, and she moves fluidly between teaching both classroom-based and digital versions of the course.

Last fall Alice received a grant to develop a digital version of the popular reading-intensive Detective Fiction course. The amount of work she put into this development project was daunting. One of the reviewers for the completed course stated, “I cannot say enough good things about what she was able to accomplish. From complete lectures to additional resources to developed assignments to discussion forums and more, this course serves as a perfect example of the work ethic with which she approaches all of her teaching assignments.”

Her colleagues attest to her dedication to student success and building a strong rapport. They have witnessed firsthand the way she interacts with students and how her students feel in response. Alice conferences with students constantly, both formally and informally, and she is welcoming when they follow her back from class to continue discussions or simply to talk. She shares both wisdom and homemade snacks with them! Alice is described as both personable and utterly human with her students, and they clearly appreciate it.

Alice gives tirelessly to her students, both in regularly assigned courses and in independent studies. She's considered both an amazing teacher and individual.

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Teacher of the Week

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A list of the past winners is available.