This Week for Graduate Students: How’s your teaching? Get direct and supportive feedback from CTL
Get Feedback on Your Teaching
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.
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.
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 October 29, 2021. Requests for MCRs will close on October 15, 2021.
Mid-course reviews and teaching observations count towards completion of CTL’s Teaching Development Program for graduate students.
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.
“Being observed was one of the most useful experiences that I’ve had as an instructor. During a class, observers have greater capacity to take note of the smaller details in instruction and students’ responses to it, and observers see your teaching materials with fresh perspective.” – Claire Dillon, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History and Archaeology; CTL Teaching Observation Fellow, 2019-20; Teaching Consultant, 2020-21
Approaching the Job Market
The CTL is very happy to announce new guides that can get you started on strong teaching-related documents for future employers.
Intro to the Teaching Statement
A teaching statement takes time to brainstorm, draft, and revise. This is why the CTL has designed this self-paced resource to introduce you to the teaching statement—one of the most frequently requested teaching materials on the academic job market—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 craft, elaborate, and revise. The CTL has designed this self-paced resource to introduce you to the diversity statement as a genre and help 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 your teaching portfolio, a set of materials that complements your teaching statement to represent your teaching. A teaching portfolio takes time to collect, curate, and revise. Thus, this CTL self-paced resource is designed to help kickstart the assembly of your portfolio and to support you as you continue to add to and iterate on your teaching portfolio in the future. Access module.
In addition to the above resources, CTL will be running live sessions this month to help you get targeted feedback on select job market documents.
Teaching Statement Analysis
At this session, you will meet with CTL staff and colleagues from other departments to collectively analyze excerpts from real teaching statements. Hearing others’ readings of the samples will help you to write and revise your own statement by honing your critical eye.
In-Person: Tuesday, September 21, 1:00-2:00pm
Online: Wednesday, September 29, 4:00-5:00pm
Diversity Statement Analysis
At this session you will collaborate with CTL staff and colleagues from other departments to collectively analyze excerpts from real diversity statements. You’ll analyze how the candidate effectively communicates their efforts, commitments, and contributions as well as what details make the excerpts effective or not so effective.
In-Person: Wednesday, September 22, 1:00-2:00pm
Online: Thursday, September 30, 4:00-5:00pm