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Teaching Orientation for Graduate Students

CTL offers graduate students instructors orientation sessions to learn about practical, evidence-based strategies that they can implement on the first day of class. These orientations help supplement department-based orientations and trainings. CTL orientations are open to all new teaching assistants, teaching fellows, and graduate students in an instructor role, on a space-available basis.

Fall 2020 Teaching Orientations

To address the unique circumstances of the Fall 2020 semester, CTL is shifting its orientations online. Resources and guidance will be available ahead of the semester for on-demand (or asynchronous) access. In addition, the CTL will be running synchronous online sessions during the week of August 31. These sessions will offer opportunities to engage in discussions around these resources, ask questions, and participate in online microteaching.

This page will be updated with links to Fall 2020 orientation resources and sessions.

About CTL teaching orientations for graduate students

The Center for Teaching and Learning offers graduate student instructors orientation sessions to learn about practical, evidence-based strategies that they can implement with their students. These orientations help supplement departmental orientations and trainings.

In a supportive and collaborative setting, facilitated by CTL staff and experienced graduate student instructors, participants will develop strategies for engaging with students during the first week of classes. This will include the development of policy statements that communicate course expectations and help establish an inclusive and dynamic learning environment. Participants will also discuss difficult situations that Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows may find themselves in, and learn about resources and offices on campus that can help. Work completed at a CTL teaching orientation satisfies a requirement of CTL’s new Teaching Development Program (TDP).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

This orientation is open to all graduate student instructors. It is especially useful for graduate students who are new to teaching.

What is the Teaching Development Program, and how does it relate to teaching orientations?

CTL’s new Teaching Development Program (TDP) allows doctoral students to cultivate, document, and articulate their teaching development across the arc of their graduate school career. Participation in the TDP is not a requirement for attending CTL teaching orientations. However, work completed at a CTL orientation satisfies a Foundational Track requirement of the TDP. More information about TDP requirements, certification, and transcript notation is available here.

Are any of the resources from the orientations available elsewhere?

CTL staff is available to meet with you to talk about any aspect of working with students as a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow.

I had a scheduling conflict with orientation – will you be running these session again?

CTL runs Essentials of Teaching and Learning workshops, which build on orientation sessions during the academic year, as well as microteaching practice sessions. Join the CTL email list to be alerted about upcoming opportunities.

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.