Back (on Zoom) Again: Winter Teaching Week 2022

January 25, 2022
Winter Teaching Week 2022

After a Fall semester full of reconnecting with colleagues, friends, students, and instructors in person and teaching and learning on campus, we were excited to plan our Winter Teaching Week to be an opportunity for graduate student teachers to refresh their teaching and get new ideas before the spring term. We especially were looking forward to hosting our revamped programming at our Bok Center offices, building upon our successful return to in-person teaching in the Fall. But COVID was not going to let it be so easy. On the first day of winter recess we received messages that all January activities before the start of term should be conducted remotely. And so we pivoted, as we have done several times since March 2020.

Despite not being able to meet in person, we were happy to engage with almost 70 graduate student teachers last week in workshops on topics including growth mindset, critical reflection, how to teach reading and writing, syllabus design, classroom culture, and visual communication. It has been a challenging time for everyone, which has made being able to connect, share, and learn together all the more rewarding. The feedback we received from participants was overwhelmingly positive, and shows that our efforts were appreciated as well:

  • I found the ideas about how to start off the semester with your students on the right foot with a growth mindset really helpful and a great way to open up the classroom immediately.

  • The concrete strategies and data presented were extremely helpful!

  • The activities were very well-conceived and thought-provoking.

  • This was super useful and interesting! I should take this workshop over and over again :)

  • The workshop was super engaging, and allowed us to work on our own projects while learning from one another.

  • I appreciated that some undergraduates were in the session, and we could get some real ideas about their expectations... teaching is a story about two sides.

Resources from the sessions are on our Hit the Ground Running Canvas site, which is also home to a series of self-study modules for all TFs, focused modules on specific topics like inclusive teaching and responding to student writing, and resources from our partner offices around campus.

As we start the term, we will continue to support instructors at all stages as we all adapt to changing circumstances. We hope you’ll consult the advice we prepared for faculty on academic continuity, or drop in to our office hours as questions arise. PhD students may be interested in joining the workshop on Teaching and Mental Health we are hosting on January 31, taking one of our spring Bok Seminars, or consulting with us on different aspects of their teaching. We wish everyone the best as we begin the semester, and we hope to see you at the Bok Center soon.