Teaching is intimately connected to your growth as a scholar. From apprenticing for a faculty career to acquiring valuable skills in communication, the Bok Center is here to help you succeed.
The Bok Center holds a Fall Teaching Conference and Winter Teaching Week each year. These pre-semester conferences offer new Teaching Fellows a chance to prepare for the semester, as well as for more experienced teachers and scholars to continue to develop their skills and to explore areas of interest in teaching and learning.
Each Bok Seminar offers graduate students and scholars the opportunity to explore an area of interest in teaching and learning over multiple sessions. Seminars vary in length and intensity based on their focus areas and goals. They range from 6 sessions to full semester offerings. Students who wish to take a full menu of seminars and develop a teaching portfolio are eligible to receive a Bok Center Teaching Certificate.
Professional Communication Program for International Teachers and Scholars
This program offers international graduate students, TFs and scholars the opportunity to develop their speaking, teaching and cultural skills for the Harvard environment.
The Bok Center was founded in 1975 as a video laboratory, allowing instructors for the first time to experience their own teaching as if they were a student in their class. Four decades later, we still believe that having your class or section recorded and viewing it with a consultant is one of the very best ways to take stock of your teaching style and to brainstorm ways to expand your repertoire. We loan cameras free of charge to all graduate student instructors.
For graduate students teaching courses in which videotaping would be intrusive or logistically difficult—or in which the pedagogical style is best experienced "in the moment"—the Bok Center is happy to send a fellow or staff member to observe your teaching live. The consultant will record notes on what he/she observes and (ideally) debrief the class directly afterwards with you, with many of the same benefits that accrue to instructors who watch themselves on video.
Bok staff are also happy to meet just to talk through specific issues of interest to individual teachers, including lesson planning, feedback (whether informal or through the Q Guide), course and assignment design, or how teaching factors into the job market.
Skills in professional and scholarly communication are more essential than ever, whether you're networking with your colleagues, talking to undergraduates about your research, considering the academic job market or contemplating a career outside of the university. No matter who your audience may be, the Bok Center is here to help you at every stage of this process.
The Bok Center's staff and fellows routinely offer one-off workshops on an array of topics, ranging from how to plan for the first day of section to how to assemble a teaching portfolio for the job market. We are happy to visit your department, your department's pedagogy course, or work with the teaching staff of individual courses, and can tailor the message and the activities of the workshop to the particular needs of your group.
Check out our TF Handbook!
The 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.