Teaching Tips: All Those Certificates!

Beginning with this edition of the Faculty Forum, we will be offering tips for NJC faculty members. Typically, the tips featured will be ideas to use in the classroom as educational aids. But this edition’s “tip” will be a bit different due to a discussion that occurred at our most recent Faculty Council (FC) meeting between Chief Academic Officer Joy Lyngar and a Faculty Council member who wishes to remain anonymous.

The discussion went something like this:

Joy: “What can we [the staff] do for the faculty?”

FC Member: “You could stop giving us certificates. We don’t need them. They’re of no value to us.”

Joy: “Do you still have the ones we gave you previously?”

FC Member: “Yes, but I have no idea what to do with them.”

Joy: “But you kept them, which means they must have some value to you.”

FC Member: “Well… I suppose… but I have enough of them to wallpaper a room.”

This dialog begged the question: What do we do with all those NJC certificates? They’re often filed away to do nothing more than gather dust and take up valuable space. Thus, our first “Teaching Tips” column provides suggestions regarding what to do with our numerous certificates.

  • When you file the certificate away, attach the course schedule and class roster to it. If you have a class photo, include it as well. The attachments might at least trigger a memory when you come across the certificate again.
  • Instead of keeping the certificates in their paper form, you can digitize them by scanning them into your hard drive or taking a photo of them with a digital camera. Those who are truly technologically savvy could create a collage of NJC certificates suitable for framing.
  • Our certificates are made from nice, heavy cardstock resembling parchment. Paper of this quality has a number of uses — pinwheels, paper dolls, paper chains, paper airplanes, origami, scrapbooking, etc. If you can’t imagine your certificates taking some other form, pass them on to your children or grandchildren for craft use.

It’s true. Many of us do have enough certificates to wallpaper a room. Did you know there is actually a faux finish called “Paper Illusion” which uses torn pieces of paper to give walls a marbled effect? Paper that looks like parchment works particularly well for this type of faux finish. If you can’t take my word for it, you can take Bob Vila’s.

Happy to have been of help.

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