Fall Teaching Conference Workshop: Soft Skills for Hard Times: Community and Communication in the Classroom


Thursday, August 26, 2021, 2:00pm to 3:30pm


Sever Hall

Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

As a PhD student, you likely take for granted a lot of the spaces and routines of academic life, whether it’s the way you use footnotes, the norms and rules of a lab, how you read an article in your discipline, or even how you prepare for and participate in class. As a Teaching Fellow, how do you manage making these norms transparent, while also helping your students feel welcome and ready to learn in your classroom? In many ways, being a TF is like being a host—while it’s not your job to be the center of attention, it is your job to greet your students, to help them get to know you and each other, to provide them with a framework in which they can get the most out of the course, and to check in and see how they are learning and what their experience is. In this session we will explore ways to establish meaningful communication with students in the context of our unsettled post-pandemic times, specifically focused on 1) how to set a positive tone in your section, to help ensure you are supporting students and navigating challenges as they arise, and 2) strategies for getting feedback on how students are learning.

This session is part of the Fall Teaching Conference, which is designed to prepare new and experienced graduate student teachers for their roles as Teaching Fellows in the FAS. Pre-registration is required. Learn more here.