December Profiles

Rachel Bailey, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Social Work, School of Health Professions 

For our faculty profile this month, we feature Rachel Bailey, who is facilitating a session during Teaching Renewal Week in January. She also is a newly appointed member of the Teaching for Learning Center (T4LC) Advisory Board.  

Teaching Renewal Week will be held Jan. 9-13, 2023, and you can view and register for all sessions on the T4LC Gateway. It is an educational development conference presented by the Teaching for Learning Center and Campus Writing Program with sessions open to all MU faculty, instructors, graduate instructors, postdoctoral fellows, and instructional support staff. 

Bailey’s session is called “Engaging Students with Compassion and Empathy” and will be held from 11a.m. to 11:50 a.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Bailey said this is a topic she is very passionate about.  

“Mizzou students face increasingly complex issues, including mental health needs, financial instability, and important obligations to family and friends,” Bailey said. “ There is also the ongoing (and seemingly chronic) shared trauma of a pandemic, school violence across the country, and a divisive political climate. Despite all of this, students are expected to engage in learning and demonstrate competency.  In a lot of ways, true learning requires presence.  Presence in class, in online discussion boards, in readings— which can feel impossible for an already taxed student.”   

Bailey hopes faculty will attend and participate in this session because it will, “challenge educators to find ways to engage in instruction from the lens of ‘empathic teaching.’  The phrase denotes actively seeking and recognizing the impact of student’s lived experiences on their capacity to learn.  I am hopeful our amazing faculty will be excited to engage in this important conversation and willing to identify some actionable changes.” 

Bailey is excited about other sessions during the week, too.  

“As a social scientist, I am very excited to hear from our keynote speaker Dr. Mays Imad on the relationship between behavior, biology, and resilience,” she said. “Our very own T4LC Fellow Dr. Rose Metro will give a talk on what it means to engage in meaningful reflection of our teaching practices.  There are additional talks on working with accommodations, building equity in our courses, and using social media.” 

In addition to Teaching Renewal Week, there are many other resources for faculty that the Teaching for Learning Center Advisory Board helps develop. 

“[The board is] a world class group of staff and faculty who advocate for best practices in teaching, providing thoughtful and accessible training opportunities for educators, and developing collaborations across campus,”  Bailey said. 

Bailey encourages other faculty and staff to be aware of the center as a space for meetings, brainstorming sessions or a quiet place to work. Primarily, she wants other faculty and staff to be aware of the year-round individual and group consultations available from the center on any teaching and learning topic.


Flower Darby, Associate Director, Teaching for Learning Center  

Flower Darby has been at the Teaching for Learning Center (T4LC) since June 2022 and previously taught classes for 27 years at Northern Arizona University, Estrella Mountain Community College, and Coconino Community College, all in Arizona. She has ten years of experience supporting faculty in effective teaching as an instructional designer, director of teaching for student success, and assistant dean of online and innovative pedagogies. Her upcoming co-authored book is The Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching, coming out as a free eBook this month. She is also lead author, with James M. Lang, of Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes  (2019). She was also a speaker at the annual Celebration of Teaching in 2019.  

The reason Darby came to MU was the T4LC leadership team.

“Truly, MU’s commitment to inclusive student success resonates deeply with my passion for helping all students learn and succeed through course design and teaching practices that foster academic achievement,” Darby said. 

The work that resulted from the Task Force to Enhance Learning and Teaching (TFELT) and the recommendations for Review of Teaching demonstrate MU’s commitment to recognizing and elevating effective and inclusive teaching for enhanced student learning, she said. 

 Darby has a personal connection to Teaching Renewal Week in January, since the keynote speaker, Dr. Mays Imad, is one of the co-authors of The Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching. Imad’s opening talk is called, “Harnessing the Resilience Within: the Science of Biological and Behavioral Resilience through Plasticity, Sociality, and Meaning” and will be on Tuesday, Jan. 10th, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. 

“I’m delighted that she is coming virtually to share her deep expertise as a neurobiologist and expert on trauma-informed teaching with our campus community,” Darby said, adding the talk will be “both timely and very relevant in our work to support student learning and success.”  

Other sessions Darby is excited about this year are a featured session on fostering academic integrity, a session on teaching with empathy, and one on promoting critical thinking in our classes. She encourages everyone in a teaching role to invest some time in this free virtual event.  

Darby also has a new Inclusive Teaching course to announce that is co-sponsored with the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity.  It will run from February through April in 2023 and features a blend of online asynchronous activities and in-person meetings every other week in the Teaching for Learning Center. Participants can expect to learn about the research and practices to advance equitable learning in all classes. Participants will receive a Mizzou Micro-credential/Certificate in Inclusive Teaching upon completion. If you meet the eligibility criteria, complete the Qualtrics form to apply for acceptance by Jan. 8, 2023.  

For more information about the T4LC, visit the Center in 25 Ellis Library or visit the website to learn more about center programming, including workshops, communities of practice, events such as Teaching Renewal Week and Celebration of Teaching, and the One Higher Ed (OneHE) library of online courses and resources, freely available to Mizzou educators. 

Darby would also like to remind faculty that they offer confidential teaching observations, small group and one-to-one consultations about anything related to teaching, learning, and assessment. Anyone can email with any questions.