Fall Teaching Conference & Winter Teaching Week

Fall Teaching Conference 2022

Join the Bok Center this August for the Fall Teaching Conference! New and experienced PhD student teachers can explore key topics in teaching and learning, build community and share advice with TFs across disciplines, and feel prepared and confident as we start a new year of teaching and learning. This year’s conference is comprised of four types of sessions:

Fundamentals Workshops Roundtables Practice Teaching
Learn the fundamentals of teaching and share ideas and strategies in a cohort of peers in this 3-session training based on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas Site. Explore interactive workshops on a range of topics including how students learn, visual communication in the classroom, and how to write a diversity statement. Join experienced TFs to learn more about the specifics of teaching in your discipline and to consider the many aspects of your role as a TF. Practice delivering a 5 minute lesson in which you define an introductory concept from your field and get feedback from the group.

Jump to: Sessions for New TFs | Sessions for All TFs | Session Descriptions

Full Conference Schedule At-a-Glance

Registration opens on July 18, 2022!

The conference is also designed to give PhD students a taste of key areas in teaching and learning that they may want to explore further; if you are excited about any of these topics, register for one of our Bok Seminars, request a workshop, or meet with us to go more in depth.

The Fall Teaching Conference is designed for GSAS PhD students and others at similar career stages engaged in the teaching of Harvard College undergraduates.

For New TFs

Thursday and Friday, August 18-19, and Monday and Tuesday, August 22-23:
Online Pre-conference Fundamentals for New TFs

 

New TFs are invited to attend one of two cohorts of our Pre-conference Fundamentals training. Each cohort consists of three 90-minute sessions. Please note: these sessions will be held on Zoom.

Cohort 1:
Session 1: Thursday, August 18, 9:30-11:00am
Session 2: Thursday, August 18, 1:00-2:30pm
Session 3: Friday, August 19, 9:30-11:00am

Cohort 2:
Session 1: Monday, August 22, 9:30-11:00am
Session 2: Monday, August 22, 1:00- 2:30pm
Session 3: Tuesday, August 23, 9:30-11:00am

 

Tuesday, August 23: In-person Sessions for New TFs

 

After attending Fundamentals, participate in a roundtable discussion and practice teaching session to practice in-person in Harvard Hall and learn from experienced TFs. If you are unable to attend on Tuesday, these sessions are offered again on Thursday.

Tuesday, August 23, Harvard Hall
1:00-2:00pm Roundtable: Leading discussion-based sections Roundtable: Leading problem-based sections Roundtable: Language teaching
2:15-3:30pm Practice Teaching Sessions for New TFs

For All TFs

Join new and experienced TFs across disciplines in Harvard Hall for two full days of concurrent sessions to explore topics of interest and get new ideas for the semester ahead. Don’t miss the opening plenary with Professor Robin Bernstein! Lunch is available between 12pm and 1pm on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, August 24, Harvard Hall
9:00-10:00am Opening Plenary with Professor Robin Bernstein -
Teaching and Learning: Two Principles
10:15-11:15am Workshop: How Students Learn Workshop: Reading: The Most Impressive Thing You Can Teach?
11:30am-12:30pm Roundtable: Teaching and Learning in Community Roundtable: Teaching as an International Scholar Roundtable: Being a Head TF
1:00-2:00pm Workshop: Teaching Across Disciplines Workshop: Facilitating Active Learning in an Inclusive STEM Classroom
2:15-3:30pm Workshop: Responding to Student Writing Efficiently and Effectively Practice Teaching Sessions
3:30-4:30pm Bok Center Open House, 125 Mt. Auburn Street, 3rd Floor

 

Thursday, August 25, Harvard Hall
9:00-10:00am Workshop: Equitable and Inclusive Teaching
10:15-11:15am Workshop: Becoming a Critically Reflective Practitioner Workshop: Developing your Teaching Materials for the Job Market
*Professional Development Track
(for experienced TFs)
11:30am-12:30pm Roundtable: Leading discussion-based sections Roundtable: Leading problem-based sections Roundtable: Language teaching Workshop: Demystifying Diversity Statements
*Professional Development Track (for experienced TFs)
1:00-2:00pm Engaging Audiences: Compelling Communication for Teachers and Scholars (Communication, Part 1)
*Communication Track
2:15-3:30pm Workshop: The Museum is Your Classroom Workshop: Visual Communication in the Classroom (Communication, Part 2)
*Communication Track

Fall Teaching Conference 2022 Session Descriptions

Opening Plenary - Teaching and Learning: Two Principles
Wednesday, August 24, 9:00-10:00 am EDT

Robin Bernstein, Dillon Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 

What is the relationship between teaching and learning? How can you learn from teaching? In this session, Professor Robin Bernstein introduces two principles of teaching that will enable you to relax in the classroom, avoid common mistakes, and maximize learning — for your students and yourself. 

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Workshops

 

How Students Learn
Wednesday, August 24,
10:15-11:15 am EDT

Tamara Brenner, Executive Director, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

How do students construct and organize knowledge? What strategies help students retain information and apply their knowledge to new situations? What factors influence student motivation? In this workshop, we will explore key ideas about what we know about how students learn and discuss strategies that you can apply to your own teaching.

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Reading: The Most Impressive Thing You Can Teach?
Wednesday, August 24,
10:15-11:15 am EDT

Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

What is a scholar in your discipline actually doing when they are “reading"? How did you learn to perform all of the moves that an effective reader performs? How can you help your students learn to do the same? In this session we will break down what it really means to “read” across our scholarly disciplines. We’ll deconstruct our own disciplinary reading practices, and brainstorm how students new to a discipline can learn to become more skilled readers in it. We’ll consider what novice reading looks like by comparison with intermediate or expert reading, and cultivate a new appreciation not only for how to teach reading, but also for the work that we ourselves are expected to do as professional scholars.

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Teaching Across Disciplines
Wednesday, August 24,
1:00-2:00 pm EDT

Eleanor Finnegan, Assistant Director, Faculty Programming, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

As a graduate student, you may be asked to teach a course outside of your primary area of expertise—whether in a department or program different from your own, or in the Program in General Education. This can be a daunting prospect, but effective teaching ultimately is not just (or even primarily) about mastering or communicating a specific body of content. It is about rendering transparent to students the rules of the disciplinary game(s) they are being asked to play. While they need to understand what they are reading or writing, students also need to understand how they are supposed to read, and why they are writing. What are the questions that “count” in this class? What kinds of data are considered evidence for the claims your students will have to make? What kinds of “moves” are valued here? In this session we will explore how you set priorities, make norms explicit, and frame the content you teach. You will come away with strategies to help you use what you know about academic inquiry to help students learn how to think as scholars.

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Facilitating Active Learning in an Inclusive STEM Classroom
Wednesday, August 24, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT

Tamara Brenner, Executive Director, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

What can you do with your students during section to keep them engaged, thinking, and learning? How can you help them feel welcome and ready to learn?  In this session, we will explore the value of active learning in STEM classes, and model examples of how different types of activities can be used to teach various concepts.  Furthermore, we’ll examine how active learning can foster a more inclusive classroom, where all students can participate, feel welcomed, and develop personal connections to science.  You will come away with strategies and ideas for how to implement active learning in your section.

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Responding to Student Writing Efficiently and Effectively
Wednesday, August 24, 2:15-3:30 pm EDT

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

Is giving feedback on papers totally new to you? Or have you graded a thousand papers and need some new ideas? Are you worried about how much time you spend on comments and grading? Or how to ensure that your feedback is accurate, consistent, and useful for your students? In this session we’ll discuss best practices for responding to student writing, which will help you give feedback and grade 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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Equitable and Inclusive Teaching
Thursday, August 25, 9
:00-10:00 am EDT

Ashlie Sandoval, Assistant Director for Equity and Inclusion, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Equitable and inclusive teaching requires that we (1) identify how social dynamics and systemic inequality pose barriers to advancing student learning and well-being and (2) develop practical strategies to address these dynamics in our classrooms and pedagogical approaches. In this session, we’ll start by considering common challenges to fostering equitable and inclusive learning environments. Then, we’ll explore an array of strategies to skillfully attend to these challenges as well as work through classroom scenarios to consider how you might utilize these strategies to deepen your approaches to teaching inclusively.

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Becoming a Critically Reflective Practitioner
Thursday, August 25,
10:15-11:15 am EDT

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

We may wonder or worry about how we’re doing as teachers - but how do we know?! As scholars, we are always developing our research, but how do we think about learning and growing as a teacher? In this session, we will consider the nature of feedback as well as strategies for collecting it and using it to improve our practice. We will explore Stephen Brookfield’s lenses for reflective teaching - 1) self, 2) students, 3) colleagues, and 4) scholarship - to consider these questions and build our own toolkit for becoming critically reflective teacher-scholars.

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Developing your Teaching Materials for the Job Market
Thursday, August 25, 10:15-11:15 am EDT
*Professional Development Track (for experienced TFs)

Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Are you on or near the job market? Enthused or concerned about the prospect of assembling a teaching portfolio or writing a teaching statement, diversity statement, or syllabus? While Harvard hopefully has given you opportunities to practice and receive feedback on your teaching, it is often the case that your career as a TF is shaped by forces beyond your control: that is to say, that you’ve taught in courses, in modalities, and with assignments set by someone else, which may or may not reflect your own personality as an instructor. When you hit the job market, then, it’s natural to feel some anxiety about how to explain who you are as a teacher in a coherent and compelling way. Do you have enough experience? The right kind of experience? The answer, of course, is yes: yes, you do. The challenge is how to organize and communicate that experience in a way that will show a search committee not just what you have done, but also how much you’ve learned from it, and that you are likely to keep developing in the right direction as a colleague. In this workshop you will get hands-on experience developing your teaching materials for the job market.

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Demystifying Diversity Statements
Thursday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT
*Professional Development Track (for experienced TFs)

Ashlie Sandoval, Assistant Director for Equity and Inclusion, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Though an increasing number of faculty search committees ask candidates to submit diversity statements, guidance about how to compose an effective statement—indeed, even about what they are and why they can be valuable to institutions and candidates’ own professional development—remains scarce. How can you approach writing a diversity statement, considering your own identity and motivation in the context of sharing how you can contribute to making institutions more inclusive and equitable? In this workshop, we will explore ways to craft a compelling diversity statement and engage in hands-on activities that help you define your values in regard to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) as well as consider how your research, teaching, and service actualize your EDIB goals.

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Engaging Audiences: Compelling Communication for Teachers and Scholars (Communication, Part 1)
Thursday, August 25, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT
*Communication Track

Marlon Kuzmick, Director of the Learning Lab, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

What makes communication effective and engaging? What components of communication are important to consider as you teach, give presentations, or share your research with different audiences?  How do you prepare what you want to say and how you want to say it? In this session, we will explore strategies to engage your audience, including how to use your voice and body language, different organizational strategies, and the impact of visual materials. If you want to go into more depth on visual communication, attend Part 2 of our communication series at the Bok Center’s Learning Lab directly following this session.

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The Museum is Your Classroom
Thursday, August 25, 2:15-3:30 pm EDT

Rebecca Miller Brown, Assistant Director, Graduate Student Programming, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Jen Thum, Assistant Director of Academic Engagement and Assistant Research Curator, Harvard Art Museums

A Dutch landscape drawing to investigate climate change. Interwar prints to consider the lives of noncombatants. A Buddhist sculpture analyzed by medical students. 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. In this workshop, you will have a chance to explore real examples from past courses of how TFs and faculty have inspired their students with the museums’ collections. We will discuss strategies to encourage students to look closely and think critically, and promote active learning with works of art in your teaching. Broaden your pedagogical horizons: learn how the museums can support your course goals through discussions and installations in our galleries and up-close encounters in our intimate Art Study Center classrooms. Note: Please meet in Harvard Hall at 2:00pm to walk over to the Harvard Art Museums together. Be sure to have your Harvard ID with you.

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Visual Communication in the Classroom (Communication, Part 2)
Thursday, August 26, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT
*Communication Track

Marlon Kuzmick, Director of the Learning Lab, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Christine D'Auria, Assistant Director of the Learning Lab, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

How do you use visuals to help your audience develop a schema to understand your work? How can students use visuals as they develop their academic skills? In this session, you will explore how to communicate your work visually, and how visuals communicate structure to help your audience understand the main idea, whether you are teaching or presenting your research. You will explore the different roles visuals can play in your teaching, analyze examples and learn some key principles of visual design, and practice with different tools to communicate your own work in a short format for a non-specialist audience. We will also discuss ways you can help students engage with and use visuals in their course projects. Note: Please meet in Harvard Hall at 2:00pm to walk over to the Learning Lab together.

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Roundtable Discussions

 

Roundtable Discussion: Leading Discussion-Based Sections
Tuesday, August 23, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT and Thursday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Pedagogy Fellows

In this small-group discussion, join experienced TFs in the humanities and social sciences to discuss questions like, how do you prepare to lead a discussion-based section? What kinds of things can you do in class to keep students engaged? How do you give feedback? Participants will leave the session with tips and strategies for teaching in discussion-based sections. 

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Roundtable Discussion: Leading Problem-Based Sections
Tuesday, August 23, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT and Thursday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Pedagogy Fellows

In this small-group discussion, join experienced TFs in the sciences to discuss questions like, how do you lead a problem-based section? How do you help students solve problems (without giving them the answers)? How do you give feedback? Participants will leave the sessions with tips and strategies for teaching in problem-based sections. 

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Roundtable Discussion: Language Teaching
Tuesday, August 23, 1:00-2:00 pm EDT and Thursday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Pedagogy Fellows

In this small-group discussion, join experienced language TFs to discuss questions important to language teaching. How do you prepare for class? How do you help students feel comfortable making mistakes in a new language? How do you give feedback? Participants will leave the session with tips and strategies for language teaching.

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Roundtable Discussion: Teaching and Learning in Community
Wednesday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Emily Epperson and Lauren Sullivan, Bok Pedagogy Fellows

Developing as a teacher means learning from yourself, and your peers, as well as having some teaching mentors. In this interactive panel discussion, explore key topics in teaching with experienced TFs. They will discuss their approaches to 1) organization and time management, 2) working on a teaching team, 3) building rapport, connecting with students, and working to build an inclusive classroom, and 4) how your own identity as a teacher affects your teaching as well as your expectations for yourself and for your students. 

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Roundtable Discussion: Being a Head TF
Wednesday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
With experienced head TFs

Want to learn more about how to be an effective Head Teaching Fellow? Looking for a forum to talk through what it’s like to work closely with your coursehead, and to coordinate a larger teaching team? Wondering what is (or isn’t) your responsibility, and where to get help? Join the Bok Center’s Director of Pedagogy and veteran Head TFs for a wide-ranging, informal discussion about the ins and outs of the job, which combines the roles of instructor, project manager, advocate, mentor, and judge.

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Roundtable Discussion: Teaching as an International Scholar
Wednesday, August 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm EDT

Sarah Emory, Assistant Director, International Teachers and Scholars, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
With experienced international TFs

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 in Harvard classrooms successfully? In this roundtable discussion, explore issues related to teaching across borders and boundaries, hear from experienced TFs on what they found useful when they started teaching, and discuss useful strategies for building connections with undergraduates. Note: Please note that the Teaching as an International Scholar module on the Hit the Ground Running Canvas site is a useful resource for international TFs interested in this discussion.

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Practice Teaching

 

Practice Teaching Session
Tuesday, August 23, 2:15-3:30 pm EDT and Wednesday, August 24, 2:15-3:30 pm EDT

Pedagogy Fellows

Join an experienced facilitator and a small group of your peers to practice delivering a short lesson. Assignment: Prepare a 3-5 minute interactive lesson in which you define an introductory concept from your field. This framework will help you prepare. After the lesson, you will have a chance to practice handling questions and get feedback from the group. 

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Winter Teaching Week 2022

This January, PhD students at all stages of teaching development are invited to learn more about our programs and resources, spark new ideas, and recharge before the spring term starts. Join Bok staff and connect with peers across disciplines to reflect on your skills as teachers, scholars, and learners, enhance your teaching practice and professional development, and have fun with teaching!

Attending sessions at Winter Teaching Week is a great way to sample the range of work we do at the Bok Center, learn about opportunities to engage with us in more depth, and join our teaching community. You may register for any or all of our workshops based on your teaching and professional development interests.

Winter Teaching Week 2022 was held from Wednesday, January 19, to Friday, January 21.

Winter Teaching Week 2022 Workshop Descriptions

Hit the Ground Running: A Discussion for New TFs
Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development
Rebecca Miller Brown, Assistant Director, Graduate Student Programming

Are you a new Teaching Fellow, wondering how to prepare for your first semester of teaching? PhD students who have completed the self-study modules on our Hit the Ground Running Canvas site are invited to this interactive workshop where we will review key components of each core module, starting with Where to Begin: Roles, Responsibilities, and Communicating Expectations, Building and Sustaining Community, and Lesson Planning and Inclusive Teaching. You will explore topics from each module in more depth, learn about our resources and approach to teaching, and connect with TFs from across GSAS to feel more confident and prepared for the first day of class.

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Using Growth Mindset to Improve Teaching and Learning
Yasemin Kalender, Assistant Director, Science Pedagogy

Growth mindset—the belief that your skills and intelligence are malleable and can be improved with hard work and practice—has been shown to be a vital aspect of learning. In this session, we will focus on developing a growth mindset for ourselves and for our students, and why both are important. It is often all too easy to think of ourselves as finished products with set skills, but this can hinder our attempts to be willing to learn new knowledge and skills. Fostering a “growth mindset” can motivate us- and our students- to focus on the process of learning, to embrace challenges as learning opportunities, and to improve our abilities through practice. Teaching students to have a growth mindset has been shown to prevent students from giving up in response to academic challenges and thereby can improve student performance and reduce achievement gaps between student groups. The goal of this session, designed for graduate students and teachers at any stage, is for participants to leave with some concrete strategies for when and how to help students focus on how to thrive- rather than just survive- in their college classes by considering themselves on a journey towards developing new skills and knowledge in which meaningful challenges are to be embraced rather than avoided.

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Teaching and Learning in Community: A Roundtable Discussion with Experienced Teaching Fellows
Julia Judge Mulhall, Bok Pedagogy Fellow and PhD Student in Classics, with other experienced TFs

Developing as a teacher means learning from yourself, and your peers, as well as having some teaching mentors. In this interactive panel discussion, explore key topics in teaching with experienced TFs. They will discuss their approaches to 1) organization and time management, 2) working on a teaching team, 3) building rapport, connecting with students and working to build an inclusive classroom, and 4) how your own identity as a teacher affects your teaching as well as your expectations for yourself and for your students.

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Becoming a Critically Reflective Practitioner
Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development

We may wonder or worry about how we’re doing as teachers-- but how do we know?! As scholars, we are always developing our research, but how do we think about learning and growing as a teacher? In this session, we will consider the nature of feedback as well as strategies for collecting it and using it to improve our practice. We will explore Stephen Brookfield’s lenses for reflective teaching-- 1) self, 2) students, 3) colleagues, and 4) scholarship-- to consider these questions and build our own toolkit for becoming critically reflective teacher-scholars.

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Reading: The Most Impressive Thing You Can Teach?
Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy

What is a scholar in your discipline actually doing when they are “reading"? How did you learn to perform all of the moves that an effective reader performs? How can you help your students learn to do the same? In this session we will break down what it really means to “read” across our scholarly disciplines. We’ll deconstruct our own disciplinary reading practices, and brainstorm how students new to a discipline can learn to become more skilled readers in it.  We’ll consider what novice reading looks like by comparison with intermediate or expert reading, and cultivate a new appreciation not only for how to teach reading, but also for the work that we ourselves are expected to do as professional scholars.

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How to Get Students from Reading and Discussing to Writing
Jonah Johnson, Assistant Director, Writing Pedagogy

From an instructor’s perspective, students’ progress from “doing the readings” to “turning in the paper” can feel like a black box: How do reading and class discussion turn into words on the page? In this session, we will bring that process out into the light, modeling practical approaches to writing assignments that will help your students engage with every stage of the writing process—from class discussion itself to formulating a possible thesis to working with evidence to other pre-draft strategies. By the end of the session, you will have the building blocks for a generalizable approach to guiding students (and planning what to do in section!) through most types of writing assignments.

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From Reflection to Design: Backward Design and the Syllabus
Eleanor Finnegan, Assistant Director, Faculty Programming

What are the goals of a course, and how does it fit into a discipline? What are the different components and how do they fit together? Done well, a good syllabus can be a road map, a contract, and a guide for both instructors and students. 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 look at sample syllabi to surface the course goals and objectives and then work backwards and discuss appropriate methods of assessment and instruction to help reach them. We’ll also talk about how this process helps you reflect on your own values and priorities as a teacher, as well as how understanding syllabus design can help you as a learner. 

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Classroom Culture and Communication for International TFs
Sarah Emory, Assistant Director, International Teachers and Scholars

What role does culture play in the classroom? What are the classroom norms at Harvard and how might undergraduate education here differ from your own experiences? In this interactive workshop, we will explore teaching and learning across cultures by reflecting on culture and its impact on classroom interactions like participating in discussions, presenting information, asking questions, building rapport, giving and receiving feedback, or even handling conflict. We will discuss how to foster an inclusive learning environment that recognizes and values cultural differences and brainstorm approaches to lead intercultural classrooms more effectively. This workshop is designed for international PhD students, but is open to anyone interested in exploring the role of culture in the classroom. 

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Visual Communication
Marlon Kuzmick, Director of the Learning Lab, and Learning Lab Staff

How do you use visuals to help your audience develop a schema to understand your work? In this session, you will explore how to communicate your work visually, and how visuals communicate structure to help your audience understand the main idea, whether you are teaching or presenting your research. You will explore the different roles visuals can play in a talk, analyze examples, learn some key principles of visual design, and practice with different tools to communicate your own work in a short format, for a non-specialist audience. Participants should have a project they would like to practice communicating in this session.

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Hit the Ground Running!

hands typing on laptop

Don’t miss our Hit the Ground Running resource site,which features self-study modules for new TFs on the fundamentals of teaching, as well as modules on equitable and inclusive teaching, responding to student writing, and teaching as an international scholar.