This Week for Graduate Students: Microteaching and Upcoming LTF Events!

by | Nov 10, 2022


Want to practice a new in-class activity or just get some more practice before teaching in your classroom? Join peers in a Microteaching Practice session where you will divide into groups of 3-4 with a facilitator and take turns delivering short samples of instruction to each other. After each teaching sample, your facilitator and your peers will offer structured feedback to support your teaching. Whether you are currently teaching at Columbia or not, all graduate students looking to practice teaching are welcome to attend this Microteaching Practice session.

Microteaching satisfies the Application and Practice requirement in the Teaching Development Program.

Date & Time: Thursday, November 10, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Location: Butler 204
Register: here

Upcoming Lead Teaching Fellow Events

The 45 2022-23 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.

Teaching with Tools: How to Create Effective Slides, Handouts, and More

Teaching aids are ubiquitous in the classroom, yet instructors seldom receive advice on how to create effective slides or handouts. Additionally, as teaching has increasingly shifted to virtual and hybrid formats over the past years, there has been a surge in well-intentioned, but confusing online tools.

In this event, I will go over best practices for many types of teaching aids, with a focus on the STEM classroom. Attendees will then have the opportunity to workshop their own teaching materials with other instructors. I hope that attendees will also be able to use this workshop as an opportunity to brainstorm new teaching tools and ways to utilize new tools in order to accelerate learning within and outside of the classroom.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Abhi Shah (Neurobiology & Behavior). It is open to all graduate students.

Date & Time: Thursday, November 10, 6:00pm–7:00pm
Location: Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Room L7
Registration: here

Teaching Math: Challenges and Perspectives in Quantitative Pedagogy

Students take courses in quantitative subjects to pursue personal interests, to acquire skills for the job market, or simply to fulfill degree requirements. As instructors, we hope all students take something away from the class that will be useful in their lives. Teaching quantitative courses poses unique challenges related to the nature of the material itself, as well as differences in student background and mismatch between instructor and student expectations. The goal of this workshop is to consider the ways in which introductory courses in mathematical subjects can be made more accessible to heterogeneous audiences. We will discuss experiences and case studies from teaching a prerequisite course intended to equip students with mathematical tools for advanced coursework and eventual independent work in mathematical modeling. Prior to the workshop, attendees should think about a topic for a lesson they would like to give; attendees will leave the workshop with a sketch of a lesson plan, as well as anticipated challenges and pitfalls and a plan to address them. Recommended prework: think of a topic you would like to teach and watch the video How To Speak.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Zhenrui Liao (Neurobiology & Behavior). It is open to all graduate students.

Date & Time: Friday, November 11, 3:00pm–4:00pm
Location: Jerome L Greene Science Center, 5th Floor (L5-084)

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve Taught It Differently

At this event, participants will brainstorm how the same academic concept can be taught through different styles. Working in small groups, participants will decide how to teach a random topic in varied ways, and then, through a large-group discussion will work together to figure out how we can use our lessons to subvert traditional academic structures. Lunch will be provided.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Garima Raheja (Department of Earth & Environmental Science) and is open to all graduate students in Earth and Environmental Science and related (broadly defined) fields.

Date & Time: Tuesday, November 15, 1:00pm–2:30pm
Location: Schermerhorn, Room 506
Registration: here

Reading as Labor

Reading is labor. It’s amongst the most difficult work we ask of ourselves and of our students. It’s also arguably the most important: there is no substitute for reading, and it’s a nonnegotiable requirement for productive classroom learning. But our students are struggling more than ever. Literacy amongst college-educated adults has been steadily dropping for the last two decades, and studies demonstrate that the percentage of students who usually complete assigned readings hovers at about 20%. Add Covid to the mix, and the challenge can seem insurmountable.

This workshop will address the issue of reading in the humanities classroom. We’ll identify the struggles our students face when they read, and the obstacles we confront when motivating them to do so. We’ll discuss a variety of practical strategies we can use to increase rates of student reading, and apply those strategies to different course types—from classes in the core curriculum to advanced seminars. You’ll leave with a plan for how you might integrate these strategies into your own pedagogical practice.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Sophia Pedatella (English & Comparative Literature) and is open to all humanities instructors.

Date & Time: Tuesday, November 29, 1:00pm–2:00pm
Location: 302 Philosophy
Registration: Email Sophia at