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Beginning to Teach

Are you a graduate student who is new to teaching?

Throughout the academic year, the CTL offers programs and services to help you…

  • build confidence in your teaching and engage with a community of graduate student instructors.
  • practice a variety of techniques to facilitate learning within your teaching context.
  • develop conceptual frameworks for your teaching.
  • discover the diverse array of resources available to you as a graduate student instructor to develop your teaching and support students in your classroom.


Teaching Orientation For Graduate Students

Orientations for graduate students occur before each fall and spring term and will prepare you to teach with concrete approaches to set expectations for your students, frameworks to prepare lessons, and resources to support your growth throughout the term. Learn more. 

Essentials of Teaching and Learning

In the Essentials of Teaching and Learning series you will take a deeper dive into frameworks and tools new instructors can use to facilitate student learning. Topics include leading an interactive section, grading problem sets and written assignments, and inclusive teaching. Learn more and register

Evidence-based Teaching in Science and Engineering

This series of workshops is targeted toward STEM instructors and explores evidence-based practices in STEM instruction. In this series you and other new TAs will apply the scholarship of teaching and learning to better facilitate student learning. Register for this series and other CIRTL events.

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. In Fall 2017 we will discuss approaches to grading that increase students’ investment in their learning. Learn more and register  

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 the field of Second Language Acquisition. Register for an upcoming event. 

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 CTL website and see which upcoming LTF events interest you! Coming soon. 

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. Check out the CIRTL website for online resources, courses, and workshops that can further your development as a STEM instructor, along with our site for local events. Register for upcoming CIRTL events.


Microteaching Practice Sessions

Microteaching 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. Sign up for an upcoming session.

Teaching Observations

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

CTL Office Hours

In addition to individual appointments in our Butler Library offices, this year the CTL is offering drop-in office hours at SEAS. Come by for one-on-one support from our staff. Learn more.

Looking forward

For deeper exploration of teaching and learning, there are a variety of seminars, institutes and fellowships at the CTL to consider. Join our mailing list ( to track them. Doctoral students early in their programs at Columbia may especially be interested in:

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.