While the Bok Center's mandate extends chiefly to improving the quality of teaching and learning at Harvard, we also believe that the best way to improve teaching here is to prepare Harvard faculty and graduate students to become reflective practitioners for the duration of their careers.
The Job Market (Teaching Statements, Diversity Statements, and Teaching Portfolios)
Thinking about how you will present your teaching experience and teaching persona on the academic job market can be useful not only as a way of preparing for a job interview, but also as a way of clarifying for yourself the kind of teacher that you want to be, and the kinds of things that you value in an educational setting—whether or not you are at the point of seeking, or even want to seek, a tenure-track position. While the Bok Center will always be less prepared than your academic supervisor to initiate you into the specific expectations around teaching statements and teaching portfolios which reign in your discipline, we are happy to offer general advice about how to talk about the things that you do in your classroom.
Teaching as an Aspect of Promotion and Tenure
The Fall 2021 report of the FAS Tenure Track Review Committee recommended several measures to ensure "that teaching, advising, and mentoring are important in the promotion process," including "building into the faculty life-cycle … opportunities for ongoing feedback and improvement; providing more concrete guidance to tenure-track faculty about how to critically examine and continually improve their teaching, advising, and mentoring for promotion reviews; gathering more complete and objective data from which informed evaluation and decisions can be made; and supporting tenured faculty in their greater engagement with tenure-track colleagues on these issues." While the Bok Center does not play a role in evaluating teaching, we are delighted to help both individual faculty and departments draft teaching statements, create teaching portfolios, and launch peer observation schemes designed to create opportunities for open discourse, constructive feedback, and shared vocabularies around teaching.
The Bok Center partners with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) to celebrate the winners of their teaching awards for lecturers and preceptors, graduate student TFs and TAs, and undergraduate CAs.