Advancing Your Teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Are you seeking to advance your teaching in your discipline? The CTL offers programs and services throughout the academic year to help graduate students connect to a diverse array of resources that will help them improve their teaching and their students’ learning; apply conceptual frameworks and emerging technologies to innovate their teaching; engage with the scholarship of teaching and learning within a community of peers invested in teaching; and refine their teaching practices and prepare for the job market by participating in the CTL’s teaching observation and individual consultation services.

On this page:

Advancing Your Teaching

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Teachers’ Lounge

In Teachers’ Lounge, graduate students and CTL staff informally converse over pizza about teaching approaches, drawing from research and one another’s classroom experiences. Previous topics included grading and assessments, inclusive teaching, and international perspectives. Learn more.

Language Lounge

A series of informal lunchtime conversations similar to Teachers’ Lounge designed specifically for graduate student instructors of foreign languages. Share teaching approaches and experiences with peers while engaging with research from Second Language Acquisition. Learn more.

Advanced Topics in Teaching

The CTL offers workshops on various advanced topics in teaching for graduate students looking to acquire new pedagogical frameworks and to innovate their teaching. Topics include inclusive teaching strategies, syllabus construction, visual thinking strategies, and public speaking. Learn more.

CTLgrads Learning Communities

By participating in these deeper multi-session discussions of the teaching literature with other graduate student instructors, you will develop new frameworks to innovate your teaching. Past CTL grads Learning Communities have discussed metacognition, technology, and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching. Learn more.

Lead Teaching Fellow Workshops

Lead Teaching Fellows (LTFs) are experienced graduate student instructors who develop departmental workshops specific to the teaching and learning needs of their departments and can help support you and your peers in your teaching. Check the LTF wiki (log-in with UNI) to see upcoming LTF events.

CIRTL Events

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) is a consortium of universities who share resources to support the development of future faculty in STEM and Social Sciences. Check out the CIRTL website for online resources, courses, and workshops that can further your development as a STEM instructor. Visit our CIRTL at Columbia page to learn more about on-campus opportunities or check the CTL Events Calendar for upcoming events.


Microteaching Practice Sessions

Microteaching practice sessions are offered once a month and provide a venue for you and other instructors to practice your teaching with a small group of peers. Try out new tools and approaches, and receive immediate feedback from peers and a trained facilitator. Learn more.

Mid-Course Reviews

The CTL offers Mid-Course Reviews (MCRs) with trained peer consultants who can help solicit feedback from your students on what they find to be the most helpful and the most challenging aspects of your course. CTL Mid-Course Reviews are confidential, formative, and designed to support you in your teaching practices. Learn more.

Teaching Observations

Teaching observations give you an opportunity to receive confidential feedback on your classroom instruction by a trained peer consultant graduate students. As you start out teaching at Columbia, sign up to be observed leading your lab or section. Learn more.

Individual Consultations

The CTL meets with graduate students seeking consultation at all points in their graduate teaching career. This includes consultations on teaching statements, professional development, preparing for the job market, and general teaching-related support on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more.


Inclusive Teaching Seminar

The Inclusive Teaching Seminar is a four-part workshop series that offers an opportunity for graduate student instructors to reflect on their teaching experiences and commit to creating inclusive classroom environments that support all students. In a cohort of peers, participants will engage with scholarship on inclusive teaching, develop concrete strategies for promoting diversity in their classrooms, and create an action plan for teaching inclusively. Learn more.

Digital Literacy Seminar

This semester-long program will guide you through ways to define digital tools and assess digital skills as part of the intellectual content of your course. Learn more.

Innovative Teaching Summer Institute (ITSI)

ITSI is a four-day immersive experience in June during which participants develop an innovative assignment with an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate student instructors. Learn more.

Lead Teaching Fellowship

The Lead Teaching Fellowship (LTF) program is a year-long development opportunity for doctoral students to develop mentorship and liaison skills while producing teaching development activities for their peers. Details about activities and stipends can be found on the CTL website. Learn more.

Teaching Observation Fellowship

The Teaching Observation Fellowship (TOF) program offers a stipend to a select cohort of graduate student instructors to assess and reflect on their own teaching through classroom observations. Learn more.

Looking Forward

The CTL also provides support as you approach the job market. While the programs listed above will prepare you to reflect on and speak to your teaching experiences in applications and interviews, you can click here to find workshops and services that specifically target the development of your application materials.