Fall Teaching Conference & Winter Teaching Week

Winter Teaching Week 2021

Winter Teaching Week is designed to support new and experienced graduate student teachers in their roles as Teaching Fellows in the FAS. Through asynchronous and synchronous training you will consider various aspects of teaching remotely, learn about resources available to you, get new ideas, and build confidence. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and share advice with TFs across disciplines to prepare for the semester ahead.

Please note: Winter Teaching Week is designed for GSAS PhD students and others at similar career stages engaged in the teaching of Harvard College undergraduates.

We offered a training for undergraduate Course Assistants on Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22

Winter Teaching Week 2021 has concluded. Thank you for joining us for so many engaging sessions! You can find resources and follow-up materials from the Fundamentals training and many of the workshops on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas site.

Icon reading: Learn. Hit the Ground Running: Join our Canvas site to work through a series of self-paced modules and access curated resources on teaching remotely. Icon reading: Engage. Fundamentals: Join a 3-session training via Zoom to cover the basics of teaching remotely and practice and collaborate with peers. Icon reading: Practice. Practice Teaching: Join a small group of peers with a Bok Center facilitator to practice delivering a lesson in Zoom. Icon reading: Explore. Workshops: Explore topics in methods, classroom practice, communication, and professional development.

Learn

Hit the Ground Running Canvas Site. Work through a series of self-paced modules and access curated resources on teaching remotely from the Bok Center and other campus offices.

Join the Canvas Site

Engage

Fundamentals Training. Join a 3-session training via Zoom to cover the basics of teaching remotely and practice and collaborate with peers. The training consists of three 90-minute interactive sessions held on consecutive days and will run from January 13–January 21. Please note: this training is the same as that offered during the Fall Teaching Conference in August 2020.

Diagram detailing when Fundamentals Cohort Trainings will be held - January 13-15 from 9:30am-11:00am EST; January 13-15 from 2:00pm-3:30pm EST, and January 19-21 from 2:00pm-3:30pm EST.

Practice

Practice teaching sessions. Join an experienced facilitator and a small group of your peers to practice delivering a short lesson in Zoom. Assignment: Prepare a 3-5 minute interactive lesson in which you define an introductory concept from your field. Use the chance to try out different Zoom features: share slides, practice using the Zoom whiteboard, or use the chat. This framework will help you prepare. After the lesson, you will have a chance to practice handling questions and get feedback from the group.

Sessions run Tuesday-Friday, 1/19-1/22, from 4:00-5:30. Please note: these sessions are limited to GSAS PhD students and others at similar career stages engaged in the teaching of Harvard College undergraduates. 

Explore

Workshops. We are offering interactive workshops in three categories:

  1. Methods. Sessions for new and experienced TFs to explore strategies to enhance their teaching practice and make the most of section 
  2. Professional Development. Sessions for advanced PhD students to learn and practice strategies to communicate their research and design a syllabus 
  3. All. Informational sessions for all TFs  

Please note: workshops are limited to GSAS PhD students and others at similar career stages engaged in the teaching of Harvard College undergraduates. 

Once sessions are closed for registration, resources and follow-up materials will be available on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas site.

Workshop Category Date Time (EST)
Equitable and Inclusive Teaching METHODS Wed., Jan. 13 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Responding to Student Writing Efficiently and Effectively METHODS Thu., Jan. 14 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Engaged Communication: Anxiety, Performance, and Presenting on Zoom PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Fri., Jan. 15 11:30 am-1:00 pm
The Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW and Our First Contract ALL Tue., Jan 19 9:00-9:30 am
Communicating your Research PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Tue., Jan. 19 9:30-11:00 am
Harvard Undergraduate Perspectives:
A Panel for International TFs
METHODS Wed., Jan. 20 8:00-9:30 am
Take my course... please! Lessons from Comedy for Teachers PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Wed., Jan. 20 9:30-11:00 am
Fellows Program Information Session ALL Thu., Jan. 21 8:00-9:30 am
Designing a Syllabus PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Thu., Jan. 21 9:30-11:00 am
Title IX and Professional Conduct ALL Fri., Jan. 22 8:00-9:30 am
Making the Most of Zoom Section METHODS Fri., Jan. 22 9:30-11:00 am
Problem Solving in STEM Classes METHODS Fri., Jan. 22 2:00-3:30 pm
Let's Discuss! Making Discussion Meaningful and Engaging METHODS Fri., Jan. 22 2:00-3:30 pm

 

Winter Teaching Week Workshop Descriptions

Methods & Classroom Practice

 

Equitable and Inclusive Teaching
Noelle Lopez, Assistant Director, Equity and Inclusion, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Veronica Dea Santana, Assistant Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

In this session we’ll introduce some key concepts from the research on inclusive teaching, consider common challenges to fostering equitable and inclusive learning environments, and discuss approaches and strategies you can use to create conditions conducive to helping your students feel both welcome and capable of learning effectively in your classroom.

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Responding to Student Writing Efficiently and Effectively
Jonah Johnson, Assistant Director for Writing Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center; Head Preceptor in the Writing Program

Have you graded a thousand papers and need some new ideas? Are you worried about how much time you spend grading? How can you make sure your feedback is accurate, consistent, and actually useful for students? In this session, we’ll discuss best practices for responding to student writing, which will help you grade that next stack of papers more efficiently and effectively. We’ll discuss general principles of giving feedback along with specific questions including: how to write margin and end comments, how to use your feedback to engage students as writers and thinkers, and how to utilize written feedback to create a more inclusive teaching and learning experience. Note: Please complete the Responding to Student Writing Module on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas site, in preparation for this session.

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Harvard Undergraduate Perspectives: A Panel for International TFs
Sarah Emory, Assistant Director for International Teachers and Scholars, Derek Bok Center
with an experienced panel of undergraduate Culture and Communication Consultants

Are you a TF who got your undergraduate degree at an institution outside the U.S.? How might the undergraduate experience at Harvard differ from your own experience? What does it mean to be a teaching fellow (TF) and what do Harvard undergraduates expect from TFs? In this interactive panel discussion, undergraduate students will share their perspectives on what makes for a successful TF and discuss how building rapport can help foster an effective learning environment. You will have the opportunity to hear directly from Harvard undergraduate students and ask them questions. Note: Please complete the Teaching as an International Scholar module on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas site in preparation for this session.

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Making the Most of Zoom Section: Active Learning, Feedback and Student Engagement
Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development, Derek Bok Center

How can you plan your section to keep students active and engaged from beginning to end? What Zoom tips and tricks do you need to know? How do you know if your students are really learning? How can you find out how you are doing as a TF? In this interactive session you will 1) get some concrete strategies for planning your section 2) understand how these strategies actually improve student learning, and 3) discover how to use these techniques to get feedback on both how you are doing as a teacher and what students are learning.

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Let’s Discuss! Making Discussion Meaningful and Engaging
Rebecca Miller Brown, Assistant Director, Graduate Student Programming, Derek Bok Center
Lauren Davidson, Assistant Director of the Learning Lab, Derek Bok Center

What makes for an effective discussion in your discipline? How do you balance your goals for the session with student questions and interests? How do you navigate challenges, such as a conflict or tangent you’re not sure will pay off? Join us for a discussion of these and other questions about how to make discussion more meaningful and engaging, even in Zoom. We’ll play with the various moves people make in discussing, while asking ourselves how we can introduce students to the idea that discussion, like writing, is a learned skill. We’ll offer strategies for encouraging participation from all corners of the class, and we’ll think about ways to meet teaching goals while preserving spontaneity and organic interaction. New and experienced TFs are welcome.

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Problem Solving in STEM Classes: Engaging Your Students in Section
Tamara Brenner, Executive Director, Derek Bok Center

Problem solving is a central activity in science, engineering, and math classes. In this workshop, designed for both new and experienced TFs in the STEM disciplines, we will explore strategies for teaching with problems, with an emphasis on online teaching. How and why might you encourage students to work in groups to solve problems? How can you enable a variety of students to participate and share their answers and ideas with the class? This workshop will provide you with practical methods for creating an inclusive classroom environment for all students to learn to solve problems and tackle scientific and mathematical concepts.

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Communication & Professional Development

 

Engaged Communication: Anxiety, Performance, and Presenting on Zoom
Erika Bailey, Head of Voice and Speech, American Repertory Theater; Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media

Are you preparing to give a presentation, conference paper, or lecture this term? Do you worry about managing anxiety while speaking and staying present with your audience? In this session, we will build vocabulary for effective and engaging speaking, learn strategies for managing anxiety, and practice speaking as a physical act. Using exercises from the theatre, we’ll explore how to stay grounded, introduce vocal variety to keep your listeners engaged, and connect with your audience in Zoom. Participants should be prepared to give a very short introduction of themselves and their research area (no longer than 30 seconds) to put into practice the strategies modeled in this session.

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Communicating your Research
Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development, Derek Bok Center

How do you respond when someone asks you what you are working on? How can you describe your high-level research to your introductory students? Do you struggle to get out of the weeds and explain the big picture? In this session we will build upon what you learned in Erika Bailey’s Engaged Communication session to practice and get feedback on communicating your research. We consider how the basic principles of good pedagogy are also the basic principles of effective and engaging speaking: having clear goals and structuring the content to help the audience understand and become engaged in the material. This session is designed for advanced PhD students who want to be more engaging teachers or prepare for remote conference presentations, job interviews and job talks.

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Take My Course... Please! Lessons from Comedy for Teachers
Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center

In this workshop we will explore the relationship between stand up comedy and teaching, and how lessons and dynamics that occur in successful comedy routines could be relevant to the classroom. To be a good comedian, you have to be able to persuade your audience to let you show them a new perspective on things—to welcome a diverse crowd, to establish some shared premises, to think about questions which have never occurred to them before, to see the world as an outsider would, and to wonder why, exactly, we behave in the ways that we do. In some cases, these new perspectives may be simply humorous; but often, they carry a bite, and allow the audience to reflect critically (even uncomfortably) on the world we have created. In theory, these are exactly the skills we value when teaching the liberal arts, too. By studying video of famous routines and engaging in a number of fun improv exercises, we’ll explore the ways in which we might transpose the wisdom of the comedy club to the college classroom.

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Designing a Syllabus
Eleanor Finnegan, Assistant Director, Faculty Programming, Derek Bok Center

As an experienced TF, how do you reflect on your teaching experience, and prepare job market materials that tell the story of the teacher you are and the teacher you want to become? Specifically, how can a syllabus function in this way? Most tenure-track job postings request a sample syllabus. How do you go about creating one? This workshop introduces a method of curriculum planning called backwards design. The idea is simple: you can’t start planning how you’re going to teach until you know what you want your students to learn. Together we’ll brainstorm learning goals for our courses, then work backwards and discuss appropriate methods of assessment and instruction to help reach them. What kinds of assignments will let you measure your students’ learning? From here we will create a syllabus outline that you can fill in with the kinds of lectures/readings/experiences that students need to prepare for the assignments. We’ll also talk about how this process helps you reflect on your own values and priorities as a teacher. Participants should come prepared with ideas for a course in their discipline and expect to leave with at least the outline of a new syllabus.

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Sessions for All

 

Fellows Programs Information Session

Are you interested in working at the Bok Center? Our graduate student fellows engage in a range of activities, from working as peer consultants, to designing creative assignments, to supporting STEM outreach. Stop by to learn more about all of our fellows programs for GSAS PhD students, including the Pedagogy Fellows, Media & Design Fellows, and Life Sciences Outreach Fellows. Check the Join Our Team page for application materials and deadlines.

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The Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW and Our First Contract
Tim Barker, HGSU-UAW Steward in History
Lauren Taylor, HGSU-UAW Steward in Sociology

This session will provide a brief orientation to the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW (HGSU-UAW). We will discuss the benefits and rights contained in our first contract, ways the union can help Teaching Fellows with workplace issues, and mechanisms of contract enforcement, as well as future plans.

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Title IX and Professional Conduct
Seth Avakian, Program Officer for Title IX and Professional Conduct
Erin Clark, Program Officer for Title IX and Professional Conduct

This session addresses principles of professional conduct and classroom management for teachers as it relates to sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct and Harvard’s commitment to gender equity.  We’ll discuss how one balances Harvard University’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas while maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the University community is, on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation or gender identity, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity. Participants will learn how to handle a disclosure of a potential violation of the interim Title IX sexual harassment policy and/or the interim other sexual misconduct policy, and participate in hypothetical scenarios based on real-life experiences of TFs.

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Fall Teaching Conference 2020

The Fall Teaching Conference is designed to prepare new and experienced graduate student teachers for their roles as Teaching Fellows in the FAS. This year’s conference will focus on the skills and tools essential to remote teaching.  We will explore best practices for course support and section teaching, and consider how those translate to a remote setting, especially in Canvas and Zoom.

The conference includes four complementary components, which you may take together or separately, depending on your needs and interests. Together, they will allow you to learn effective teaching techniques, share ideas with your peers, and practice teaching via Zoom.

Please note: The 2020 Fall Teaching Conference has concluded. Thank you for joining us for so many engaging sessions! You can find resources and follow-up materials from the synchronous training and many of the plenaries on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas site.

We offered a training for undergraduate Course Assistants on Tuesday, August 25 and Wednesday, August 26

Fall Teaching Conference Plenary Session Descriptions

Opening Plenary: Creating the New Normal as a Teacher-Scholar
Schedule: Monday, August 10, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Robert Lue, Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

In this opening plenary, hear some words of welcome and encouragement from the Bok Center’s Faculty Director as you think about how to approach your teaching under unprecedented circumstances this fall. As a graduate student and teacher, you are undertaking the exciting process of translating and transmitting your discipline to undergraduates, under remote circumstances, while at the same time developing as a scholar in your field. You will consider finding the balance in this work, and also explore real examples from Professor Lue’s teaching, as you think about how to implement active learning online.

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Teaching with Presence…. even through Zoom!
Schedule: Tuesday, August 11, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Erika Bailey, Head of Voice and Speech, American Repertory Theater; Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media

We spend most of our time preparing for class by focusing on what we need to cover— what we need to SAY. But are we actually reaching our students? Our physical as well as our vocal presence play an integral role in our ability to engage students. In this session, we will build vocabulary for effective and engaging speaking, and practice teaching as a physical act. Using exercises from the theatre, we’ll explore how to better use your voice, your physical expression, and your relationship to the spaces in which you teach.

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Equitable and Inclusive Teaching
Schedule: Wednesday, August 12, 11:15 am–12:45 pm EDT

Noelle Lopez, Assistant Director, Equity and Inclusion, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Marty Samuels, Head of Content, LabXchange

In this session we’ll introduce some key concepts from the research on inclusive teaching, consider common challenges to fostering equitable and inclusive learning environments, and discuss strategies you can use to create conditions conducive to helping your students feel both welcome and capable of learning effectively in your classroom.

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Responding to Student Writing Efficiently and Effectively
Schedule: Thursday, August 13, 11:15 am–12:45 pm EDT

Jonah Johnson, Assistant Director for Writing Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning; Head Preceptor in the Writing Program

Have you graded a thousand papers and need some new ideas? Are you worried about how much time you spend grading? Do you need help managing your time, or wonder about how to give feedback that will be the most helpful to students? In this session, we’ll discuss best practices for responding to student writing. We’ll address questions including: How can you write the most effective and efficient margin and end comments? How can you help students with a wide range of writing problems? And how can your responses engage students as writers and thinkers? You will come away with useful strategies to employ on that next stack of papers.

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Designing and Delivering Online Language Instruction: A Discussion of Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Schedule: Thursday, August 13, 3:30-4:30 pm EDT

Andrew Ross, Director of the Language Center
Panelists: Aleksandra Kudryashova (German Studies), Rodrigo del Rio (Romance Languages and Literatures), Christian Struck (German Studies), and Emma Zitzow-Childs (Romance Languages and Literatures)

Online second language learning requires techniques and affordances that are unique to the discipline. How can TFs engaged in this work best learn and leverage theoretically grounded technical and pedagogical approaches to ensure the best possible learning outcomes? In summer 2020, a number of teaching fellows across a range of languages participated in training hosted by the Language Center to prepare them to develop and deliver successful online courses in an accelerated format. In this panel, they, and the Director of the Language Center, will briefly discuss their experiences in the training and subsequent teaching, provide insights on best practices, and share their perspectives on what makes a successful online language course.

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Understanding Title IX as a Teaching Fellow
Schedule: Friday, August 14, 11:00 am-12:30 pm EDT

Seth Avakian, Program Officer for Title IX and Professional Conduct for the FAS
Danielle Farrell, Director of Student Services, GSAS

This session will address principles of professional conduct and classroom management for teachers as it relates to Title IX responsibilities and Harvard’s commitment to gender equity. We’ll discuss how one balances Harvard University’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas while maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Participants will learn how to handle a disclosure of a potential violation of the sexual and gender-based harassment policy and participate in hypothetical scenarios based on real-life experiences of TFs.

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Teaching Remotely with Images and Objects Across Disciplines
Schedule: Monday, August 17, 11:15 am–12:30 pm EDT

Jen Thum, Inga Maren Otto Curatorial Fellow, Harvard Art Museums
Rebecca Miller Brown, Assistant Director, Graduate Student Programming, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

A Van Gogh analyzed by medical students. A landscape to think about climate change. Post-war prints to discuss the lives of noncombatants. Each semester, classes from disciplines across the university—on topics ranging from environmental science to poetry—engage with original works of art at the Harvard Art Museums. Works of art can illustrate arguments, give tangible expression to ideas, and provide a means to engage with concepts and build skills in new and novel ways. In this online workshop, we will use a variety of objects from the collection of the Harvard Art Museums – most of which have been featured in real Zoom classes – to demonstrate strategies for engaging students in the online space. We will discuss strategies to encourage students to look closely and think critically, and promote active learning with works of art in your teaching. Participants will also learn how they can collaborate with the museums’ staff for remote and in-person visits in the future.

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The Language and Culture of the Harvard Classroom: A Panel for New International TFs
Schedule: Tuesday, August 18, 8:00-9:30 am EDT

Sarah Emory, Assistant Director, International Teachers and Scholars, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Are you a TF who got your undergraduate degree at an institution outside the U.S.? If so, you may have questions about teaching undergraduates at Harvard. How might the undergraduate experience here differ from your own experience? As an International TF, what do you need to know to navigate teaching at Harvard? In this interactive panel discussion, you will have the opportunity to explore issues related to teaching across borders and boundaries and hear from Harvard undergraduate students and experienced international TFs. Undergraduate students will share their perspectives on what strategies effective TFs use, and experienced TFs will discuss what they found useful when they started teaching at Harvard. Both groups will discuss how building connections and rapport will help you be a more effective communicator and teacher.

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The Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW and Our First Contract
Schedule: Tuesday, August 18, 11:30 am-12:00 pm EDT

Maya Anjur-Dietrich, Applied Physics, HGSU-UAW Interim Grievance Committee Co-Chair
Tim Barker, History

This session will provide a brief orientation to the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW (HGSU-UAW). We will discuss the benefits and rights contained in our first contract, ways the union can help Teaching Fellows with workplace issues, and mechanisms of contract enforcement, as well as future plans.

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Academic Integrity in Remote Education
Schedule: Wednesday, August 19, 11:00 am- 12:00 pm EDT

Brett Flehinger, Associate Dean of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
Brigitte Libby, Assistant Dean for Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

What should you know about academic integrity at Harvard College as you prepare to teach this year?  This session offers an overview of the Honor Code, the Honor Council, and the most common types of concerns that come to the Council.  We will also offer suggestions for how you can help students approach their academic work with integrity and learn as effectively as possible, especially while courses are being held remotely.  As James Lang writes in Cheating Lessons (Harvard University Press, 2013, p. 39), “The environments which reduce the incentive and opportunity to cheat are the very ones that…will lead to greater and deeper learning by your students.”

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Graduate Student News

More News

Check out our TF Handbook!

Hit the Ground RunningThe Bok Center's Hit the Ground Running is a great place to start when you have questions about who your students are, their expectations of their Teaching Fellows, how to create an inclusive classroom, how to structure a lesson plan, and much more! Read it online, or stop by the Bok Center to pick up a hard copy. Copies are distributed at the Fall Teaching Conference and Winter Teaching Week.