Beginning to Teach
Are you a graduate student and new to teaching? The CTL offers programs and services throughout the academic year to help graduate student instructors build confidence in their teaching and engage with a community of peers; practice a variety of techniques to facilitate learning within their teaching context; develop conceptual frameworks for their teaching; and discover a diverse array of resources to develop their teaching and support students in their classroom.
On this page:
Teaching Orientation For Graduate Students
CTL’s orientation to teaching for graduate students will prepare you to teach with concrete approaches to set an inclusive tone and engage your students, frameworks for preparing your first week of classes, and resources to support your growth throughout the term. Orientation modules are available online and can be consulted at any time. 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. The Essentials series is a core requirement of CTL’s Teaching Development Program. Learn more.
Learning Communities and Lounges
CTL offers a number of programs that allow you to learn about and discuss teaching topics with peers in an informal, interdisciplinary setting. Many of these programs are designed and run by CTL Fellows and other graduate students committed to advancing teaching practices in higher ed. 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 peers and can help connect you to teaching support resources. Visit the Lead Teaching Fellows directory to see if there is an LTF in your department and if so, reach out!
Microteaching Practice Sessions
Microteaching practice sessions 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.
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 give you an opportunity to receive confidential feedback on your classroom instruction by a trained peer consultant. As you start out teaching at Columbia, sign up to be observed leading your lab or section. Learn more.
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.
Teaching Development Program
Doctoral and MFA students at Columbia are strongly encouraged to register for the Teaching Development Program (TDP).
The TDP helps you cultivate, document, and articulate teaching development across the arc of your graduate school career. Joining the TDP early in your program will allow you to gain pedagogical insights and receive targeted feedback on your teaching at the optimal time: concurrently with Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow appointments.
Graduate students can participate in the TDP program on either of two tracks: Foundational or Advanced. Completion of a TDP track earns a letter from CTL outlining attained competencies. Track completion is also noted on transcripts in most schools at Columbia. Find out more and register.
The CTL is here for graduate students.
The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for graduate students in both their current and future teaching responsibilities.