This Week for Graduate Students: How can the CTL support you? TDP, Conference Support, and more

by | Nov 1, 2021

CTL Teaching Development Program (TDP)

Doctoral students: are you signed up yet for the TDP? This program is the best way to organize teaching development across your years at Columbia, and emerge with full documentation of your priorities and growth as a teacher. 

A few highlights of the program:

  • TDP completion earns transcript notation in most schools at Columbia
  • The TDP prepares you to represent your teaching in a compelling way on the job market
  • Many CTL programs (including Lead Teaching Fellow events) count towards TDP completion

Teaching Conference Support

Current Columbia doctoral students are invited to apply for funds to help defray travel and other expenses associated with attending a conference or training focused on teaching practices in higher education. Approved applicants will receive up to $750 for attending a conference or training that helped them develop as instructors or explore discipline-based educational research (DBER).
Learn more and apply.


Office Hours

We invite any Columbia graduate student with questions about any aspects of teaching or teaching preparation to drop by office hours, no appointment necessary. We also welcome questions about CTL fellowships, programs, services, job market preparation, and making progress in the Teaching Development Program.

Date: Fridays
Time: 2–4 pm ET
Location: 212 Butler Library or on Zoom at

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 a few upcoming events that are open to participants beyond the LTF’s home department.

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

(Over-)Correcting in the Classroom: Maintaining Morale Without Sacrificing Standards

Learning ancient languages such as Latin and Ancient Greek is traditionally taught through a “grammar-translation” method that requires matching memorized translation formulas to the grammatical features of the target language. When students misapply or omit these formulas, teachers face a challenge: they must find a way of ensuring that the students understand the text without appearing overly critical of the students’ effort, which results in loss of spirit and a chilling effect on other students.

In this workshop, we will discuss strategies for meeting this challenge in a way that allows the students to feel rewarded for their in-class participation without the teacher’s sacrificing in terms of clarity, consistency, or rigor.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Luke Lea (Classical Studies). While this workshop will have a focus on the Classics, all are welcome. 

Date & Time: November 5, 10:00–11:00am
Register: email

Fostering Interdependence in the Writing Workshop

Even though writing is often seen seen as a solitary art, it is impossible to create in total isolation; a workshop can be an essential place of solace that counteracts this kind of isolation through shared community. It is important for workshop instructors to be able to see the classroom as a kind of interdependent ecosystem and to become familiar with practical ways to navigate conflict so that all participants can benefit from an authentic exchange that respects the integrity of each writer’s vision. This event will offer ways of seeing, through the lens of other art-forms, the workshop as an interdependent aggregate of structurally different yet autonomous elements; through an open discussion of language and radical empathy, we will offer tangible mediation and deescalation techniques with which to maintain the integrity of such a system. 

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Anna Schwartzman (Writing). It is open to all those currently enrolled in the SoA Writing Department (fiction, non-fiction and poetry concentrations) and graduate student departments in which the writing workshop is a major component.

Date & Time: November 5, 4:00–5:15pm
Location: Zoom 
Register: here

Growth Mindset in the Language Classroom: A Discussion of Metacognitive Strategies for Both Students and Instructors

Students often arrive in the language-learning classroom with a variety of prior experiences and many preconceived notions regarding their ability to master communication in a different tongue. This workshop aims to explore growth mindset in the language classroom, focusing on student- and instructor-centered strategies for fostering an inclusive classroom environment in which students can observe and measure their own growth, feel supported when met with a challenge, and ultimately succeed. We will discuss heavily utilized tools such as surveys, verbal feedback, and written feedback as opportunities to emphasize and instill a growth mindset in students. Instructors can expect to leave this session with actionable strategies that they can utilize in the classroom, as well as ways to engage their students in active reflection on their own learning mindset. 

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Laura DiNardo (Italian). It is open to current, past, or future language instructors. 

Date & Time: November 10, 3:30–4:45pm
Register: email

Being a Film TA – Managing the Workload

Are you stressed about your workload as TA? Are you bogged down with grading papers and reading assignments? The CTL is here to help! Join us for an informative workshop on how to manage your TA responsibilities and improve your skills as a teacher in the classroom. We’ll be focusing on how to make your prep work and in-classroom experience more manageable and enjoyable.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Jacob Huebner (Film). Current, former, and prospective Teaching Assistants of all experience levels are welcome.

Date & Time: November 11, 12:00–1:30pm
Register: here