This Week for Graduate Students: Looking for Feedback? Request a Teaching Observation

by | Oct 31, 2023

Teaching Observations

Are you looking for confidential feedback on your teaching? Request a teaching observation! The CTL offers teaching observations with trained peer consultants who can help you think through your course goals, your teaching observation experience, and your future teaching. CTL Teaching Observations are confidential and evidence-based, developed to support you in your teaching practices.

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.

Teaching observations count towards completion of CTL’s Teaching Development Program for graduate students.

Making the Most of Mentorship

Are you wondering how to get the most out of your mentoring relationship? Mentorship, both formal and informal, is an integral part of personal and professional development. While each mentor-mentee relationship is unique, some broadly-applicable principles and practices can help to foster trust, growth, and inclusivity in any context.

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn concrete strategies for identifying and addressing common mentorship challenges. An interdisciplinary panel of mentor-mentee pairs will share their tips and tricks for entering mentoring; participants will then move into informal conversation with these “model mentorship” pairs. The session will end by identifying on-campus resources and next steps for taking a mentorship relationship to the next level. Panelists will include Ruben Gonzalez, Professor of Chemistry; Helen Lu, Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Senior Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and Advancement; Kristin Myers, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and selected mentees accompanying these mentors.

This session will offer pertinent guidance and models for current and future mentees and those planning to take on the role of academic mentor during their careers. Breakfast will be available to registered participants.

This event is part of the Advancing Mentorship Practices: Supporting Mentors of Graduate Students and Postdocs at Columbia initiative and sponsored by the Office of the Provost. It is a collaborative offering of the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and the Office of Research Compliance and Training.

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2023
Time: 9:30–11:00am
Location: 212 Butler Library

This event counts towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program.


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. 

Date: Friday, November 10 
Time: 1:10–3:00pm
Location: 204 Butler Library

Upcoming Lead Teaching Fellow Events

The 41 2023-24 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 LTFs home departments. 

Read more about the LTF program here, connect to an LTF in your department via the LTF directory, and discover more upcoming LTFs events on the LTF calendar.

LTF events count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program

Teach Outside the Box: Creativity in Science Learning

Science, technology, engineering, math—these subjects are not usually the first that come to mind when people think of creative disciplines. Yet, creativity is essential to STEM. In this workshop, we will discuss strategies on how to engage students and encourage creativity while teaching complex content. Re-designing assignments to be more open-ended, forming an environment in class and office hours to support students to think outside the box, and framing subject matter to spark imagination are some topics that will be explored. Creativity is the basis of innovation, and innovators are born in STEM classrooms! Join us October 31, lunch and Halloween treats will be provided!

This workshop is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Abby Ayers (Biomedical Engineering), and is open to all STEM instructors.

Date: Tuesday, October 31
Time: 12:00–1:00pm
Location: Engineering Terrace 343 (BME Multipurpose Room)

Metalinguistic Practices in Language Instruction: Strategies for Discussing Language in the Language Classroom

This event will center on a discussion of graduate instructors’ experiences discussing the structural features of the languages that we teach, and our approaches to explaining such material in ways that our students recognize and understand. Its goal in doing so is to facilitate a conversation between language-teaching colleagues in which we outline how we talk about the meta-linguistic aspects of target languages, compare approaches, and investigate how the abstract principles organizing different languages might form and necessitate different pedagogical vocabularies. Such a discussion will help participants arrive at a shared understanding of how we might talk abstractly about language in a way that maximizes our students’ comprehension and acquisition of the target language, itself.

This workshop is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Zachary Deming (Slavic Languages), and is open to all language instructors. 

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 12:00–1:00pm
Location: Hamilton 713

Approaching the Job Market

On-demand Resources

Engage with the CTL’s on-demand guides to help you plan and draft standard components of an academic job application.

Intro to the Teaching Statement
A teaching statement—one of the most frequently requested teaching materials on the academic job market—takes time to brainstorm, draft, and revise. The CTL has designed this self-paced resource to introduce you to the teaching statement and help kickstart the writing of your first draft. Access module.

Intro to the Diversity Statement
The diversity statement is a recent addition to the suite of materials hiring committees may ask for you to submit for academic job applications. These statements are often deeply personal and, as a result, can take a lot of time and effort to draft and revise. This self-paced resource introduces you to the diversity statement as a genre and helps you begin the process of ideating and crafting the first draft of your statement. Access module.

Intro to the Teaching Portfolio
This module is designed to support you in compiling a teaching portfolio: a set of materials that complements your teaching statement to represent your teaching. This CTL self-paced resource is designed to help kickstart the assembly of your portfolio and support you as you continue to develop it in the future. Access module.