This Week for Graduate Students: Lead Teaching Fellow Applications Open Soon!

by | Mar 14, 2022

Lead Teaching Fellow Applications Open Soon!

The Lead Teaching Fellowship is a paid professional development opportunity for doctoral and MFA students who are committed to promoting pedagogical practices and conversations among their peers. This fellowship is available to doctoral students in all schools at Columbia University in years 2–7 in their program as of Fall 2022, as well as MFA students in the School of the Arts. 2022-23 Lead Teaching Fellow applications will be accepted March 21 – April 4.

If you are interested in applying and/or have have questions about this fellowship, we invite you to:

Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium

Join us for the annual Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 to celebrate the ways that faculty and students are transforming their courses and pedagogies.

Register today for online panels of faculty and student projects and/or register for the keynote presentation and poster exhibition!

Panel discussions and the keynote at the Symposium count as ‘pedagogy workshops’ in the Teaching Development Program (TDP)

Leveraging Learning Spaces Seminar

In this new seminar from CTL, participants will engage in activities designed to both reflect on and experience the physical context of learning, including individual exercises, group discussions, and focused observations. Through these activities, participants will articulate dimensions of a pedagogical practice that is both emplaced (i.e., one that recognizes, leverages, and intervenes in the physical setting of learning) and embodied (i.e., one that is responsive and sensitive to the physical and sensorial contexts of cognition). CTL will accept applications for this seminar through Monday, March 21.

Dates and Times: Tuesdays: April 5, 12, 19, and 26, 12:10 – 2:00pm
Location: 212 Butler Library

This session fulfills the Advanced Track seminar requirement in the Teaching Development Program (TDP)

Upcoming LTF Events

The 49 2021-22 Lead Teaching Fellows are running workshops and discussions in departments all around Columbia. These are generally advertised locally. Below are upcoming events that are open to participants beyond the LTF’s home department.

LTF events count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program.

Word Play: Creativity and Collaboration in the Language Classroom

This workshop aims to highlight the value of creativity and collaborative play in foreign language instruction and acquisition. The workshop will consider strategies and games that have been effective in the classroom; participants will share and discuss forms of creative work (i.e. a game, a worksheet, a performance piece) that helped students to develop their language skills, overcome anxiety, and build a sense of a community with their peers.

This workshop is language agnostic; participants will come away with ideas and templates ready to be adapted to the needs of their own language classroom. This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Elaine Wilson (Slavic Languages). 

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 15, 1:00 – 2:30 PM
Location: Hamilton 713
Register: Email Elaine WIlson (

Teaching with and for Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a common sentiment that I am sure many if not all of us have experienced at some point in our academic careers. In particular, as graduate student educators, we encounter a duality of imposter syndrome as we question our qualifications in the role, while also engaging with undergraduate and graduate students who also are experiencing it. Through this workshop, we hope to explore how we can navigate imposter syndrome in our role as teachers and for our students. 

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Bovey Rao (Neuroscience). It is open to all graduate students, regardless of discipline.

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 16, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Register: here

Ungrading and Re-centering Process in the Classroom

Are grades actually providing meaningful feedback to our students? Are they truly accessing any kind of meritocracy? How might our answers to these questions allow us to rethink the structure of our classroom? As these questions have become more widespread during the pandemic, the relatively novel process of ungrading—in which instructors shift the focus of the classroom from summative grades to formative assessments and feedback—has gained traction. The objectives of our discussion will be to both to engage with the contemporary critique of grading as well as to contemplate how ungrading might be borne out so as to foster equity and experience-centered learning while not overburdening the instructor.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow John Thorpe (Psychology). Discussions will center on assessments and instructional necessities of the Psychology Department, but interested graduate students beyond the department are welcome to join.

Date & Time: Wed, March 16, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Register: Email John Thorp (

The Everyday Racial Projects of White Social Work Students

Racial projects can be understood as ideological tools that individuals use to construct meaning and attribute value to race. Despite a theoretical shift toward anti-racism, racial projects within social work assert public positions against structural racism, while upholding mechanisms that perpetuate its existence. Analyzing the perceptions and intentions of incoming white liberal social work students is necessary for any effort to deconstruct racial projects in the social work profession.

This participatory workshop will discuss results from a study that employed qualitative analysis to describe the ways social work students make meaning of the vignette about a Black mother’s experience with Child Protective Services (CPS). Further, this study sought to illustrate how racial projects utilized by students informed their proposed actions as social workers. The goal of this session is to provide students early in their teaching careers an opportunity to engage with these findings and discuss their potential applicability to one’s personal teaching practice and pedagogical approach.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Chelsea Allen (Social Work). While this event will specifically discuss the field of social work, it is open to related disciplines and all others who may be interested in this topic. 

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 22, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Register: here