My name is Rebecca Shakespeare and I am a lecturer at the department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.
I recently completed my PhD from the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research focuses on urban housing affordability, why people move within cities, and applying qualitative GIS methods to understand how people make sense of place-based experiences.
My first teaching experience was as a tutor in high school, and I learned that I value coaching people to understand and advance their skills in subjects and practices that I love. As a geographer, I have led undergraduate GIS labs and been the primary instructor in online introductory geography classes. The breadth of my teaching experiences have ranged from young and volunteer to advanced and professional in a diversity of contexts. These include coaching groups of 10- to 14-year-olds on how to sight-read music as young singers and teaching seasoned journalists how to interpret web analytics data to understand their audience. I enjoy the challenge of creating opportunities for students of all ages to cultivate an advanced perspective on their own, and I find it satisfying to watch others develop their skills and analytical abilities.
As I teach, I also learn, and this portfolio reflects my continued development as an instructor. My teaching philosophy statement reflects my current view of teaching based on my teaching experiences thus far. A sample of lessons and syllabi I have developed or collaborated on shows how I put this philosophy into practice. My teaching experience and evaluations demonstrate the scope of my experience as an instructor. Finally, my reflections on teaching provide insight into how I iteratively improve my teaching, through feedback, observation, and training.
- Spring 2017: Ranked as outstanding TA for GEOG379, Introduction to GIS, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign – Top 10% of TAs from student course evaluations
- Fall 2016: Ranked as excellent TA for GEOG379, Introduction to GIS, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign – Met excellence standards for teaching from student course evaluations