This Week for Graduate Students: Get Feedback on Your Teaching!

by | Oct 11, 2022

Get Feedback on Your Teaching: CTL Services 

If you’re a current instructor or TA, the CTL offers free services that can give you valuable insight on your teaching strengths and paths for improvement. Trained graduate student Teaching Consultants visit your class, debrief with you, and provide you with a confidential report.

Completion of a CTL service satisfies the Application and Practice requirement in the Teaching Development Program.

Mid-Course Review
In an MCR, a Teaching Consultant gathers feedback from your students about what they find to be helpful and challenging when learning in your section or course. The Consultant then meets with you to unpack what your students have said. Doing an MCR now can help you make adjustments and improve your students’ experience for the rest of the semester.

To arrange for an MCR, submit a request at least two weeks prior to the date when you would like a Teaching Consultant to visit your class. All MCRs must be completed by November 4, 2022. Requests for MCRs will close on October 14, 2022.

Mid-course reviews and teaching observations count towards completion of CTL’s Teaching Development Program for graduate students.

Teaching Observation
In a Teaching Observation, a Teaching Consultant meets with you ahead of time to understand your goals for a class session, attends the session to observe your instruction and student activities, and debriefs with you afterwards. You will receive a confidential report considering how the goals you have set for the class have been met, suggesting future adjustments, and highlighting pertinent resources available to you.

To arrange for a teaching observation, submit a request at least two weeks prior to the date when you would like a Teaching Consultant to visit your class.

Microteaching Practice
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 or not you are currently teaching at Columbia or not, you are welcome to attend Microteaching Practice sessions.

Upcoming sessions:
Friday, October 14, 2:00-4:00PM
Thursday, November 10, 1:00PM-3:00PM

CTLgrads Journal Club

Are you interested in learning about educational research? Join us during the academic year for CTLgrads Journal Club. Every other week we will meet for lively and informal discussion on Wednesday afternoons, starting October 12. This semester we’ll be discussing more chapters from the recently published book Teaching Gradually: Practical Pedagogy for Graduate Students. Many of our discussions will be held with chapter authors, several of whom are currently at Columbia. CTLgrads Journal Club sessions are open to Columbia graduate students and postdocs, who are welcome to join us for individual sessions or for the whole series. Participants can join in-person in Butler 204 or online. 

  • October 12, 1:10 PM – 2:25 PM | Register
  • October 26, 1:10 PM – 2:25 PM | Register
  • November 9, 1:10 PM – 2:25 PM | Register
  • December 7, 1:10 PM – 2:25 PM | Register

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.

Beyond Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter: Gender, Language, and Inclusivity in the Latin and Ancient-Greek Classroom

What does gender-inclusive pedagogy look like when we teach languages from millennia ago? How can teachers of Latin and Ancient Greek adapt these highly gendered languages to meet the needs of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students (and instructors)? In this workshop, we’ll explore gender-inclusive practices in ancient language instruction from a variety of angles, including: guidelines for inclusive English; expansive options for gendered self-reference in Latin and Greek; strategies for initiating critical conversations about gender and language in the elementary classroom.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Izzy Levy (Classics). It is open to instructors of all languages, but will primarily focus on Latin and Ancient Greek.

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 11, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: 618 Hamilton
Registration: Please RSVP here

Bias in the Classroom: Problem Solving and Building a Respectful, Productive, and Inclusive Learning Environment

The classroom is a space which should be both professional, yet safe and supportive. Instructors are often faced, however, with particular challenges in the classroom that result from biases, such as age, sex, or race, either toward teachers or other students. The goal of this workshop is to consider the ways in which instructors can foster a safe and productive classroom space for both students and teachers. We will seek to identify the various forms of bias which can exist in the classroom and discuss the best methods to handle these challenging situations, resulting in the creation of a more inclusive and respectful teaching environment. This workshop is intended to be a space for instructors to build confidence in their own problem-solving abilities and ultimately to support the creation of supportive, successful, and inclusive classrooms. 

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Jilian Pizzi (Italian). It is open to all graduate students, regardless of discipline.

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 18, 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Location: 212 Butler Library
Registration: email

Grading and Equity in the Language Classroom

How do we grade in a language classroom? Furthermore, how do we do so equitably? These seemingly simple questions in fact pose many challenges. In this workshop, participants will discuss difficulties that may arise when grading language students. Whether it’s the challenge of fairly and equitably assessing students from a variety of academic and linguistic backgrounds, the importance of promoting student wellbeing and mental health even during finals period, or the complexity of negotiating the politics of language and of specific languages in the classroom, this workshop will provide a space for graduate student language instructors to share experiences, discuss grading methodologies, and brainstorm creative solutions. It will also provide space to share practical tips and tricks for grading in the language classroom, with the goal of improving the experience of grading for both students and instructors.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Ellie Grabowski (French). It is open to graduate students in all language departments.

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 19, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Location: Maison Française, Lower Gallery

Teaching Scientifically: Improving Your Teaching via the Scientific Method

In this two-part workshop, we’ll be discussing the concept of “Teaching-as-Research,” or the rethinking of teaching and teaching development within the framework of scientific experimental design. We will draw from our experiences with research and the scientific process to devise concrete experiments to test (and to improve) the efficacy of our teaching. Throughout the workshops, participants will develop a teaching-related research question, devise a methodology for collecting and analyzing data, and consider how different outcomes may inform their teaching practice; by the end of the two sessions, participants will have completely formulated a Teaching-as-Research project that can be deployed in the classroom.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Ryan Golant (Astronomy). It is open graduate students in STEM disciplines. Participants are welcome to join one or both sessions. 

Date & Time: Two-part event: Monday, October 17th and October 24th, 10:30am – 11:45am
Location: Astronomy Library (Pupin 1402)

Putting Text First: Incorporating Primary Sources into the Music Classroom

In the course description for Music Humanities, the use of primary sources is highlighted as an integral aspect not only of the class, but of the Core curriculum more broadly: “Students’ critical perceptions and articulate responses to the music, and to the source readings that are a hallmark of the Core, will be a vital part of the class.” In this workshop, participants will consider the role of text in the music classroom, exploring approaches to incorporating it productively and intentionally into lesson planning using the principles of backwards design. After discussing this framework, participants will work in groups to create learning objectives that foreground source readings, and compile activities, assignments, and/or assessments that promote deeper engagement with the material and support student growth. Though the texts and discussion will focus on Music Humanities, the framing techniques are more widely applicable. If desired, participants are encouraged to bring their own examples of source readings to discuss.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Anya Wilkening (Music). Though the texts and discussion will focus on Music Humanities, the framing techniques are more widely applicable to any instructor looking to integrate primary sources into their teaching practice. 

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 25, 2022, 10:30am 
Location: EthnoCenter (701C Dodge)