Pedagogy and Professional Development Workshops for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Spring 2017

"Walk and Talk" Conference with Professor Wendy Laura Belcher

Want a conference with writing guru Wendy Laura Belcher, author of Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Writing Success? She is offering a new conference format for the Writing Center, based on the recent Stanford study finding that an individual’s creativity increased by 60 percent when walking. Sign up here to take a 60-minute morning walk through the tree streets of Princeton while talking with Prof. Belcher about anything to do with writing in the social sciences or humanities, including dissertations, books, articles, or seminar papers. Feel free to bring a friend if you’d like to make it a group walk/talk.

The early time of this conference (now 8:15 am) is intended to set you up for a day of productive writing. You will meet Professor Belcher outside the coffee shop at 254 Nassau Street, about six blocks east of Firestone library. 

To sign up, visit Select "Faculty/Staff/Post-docs" or “Graduate Student” and locate “Graduate Walk and Talk Conference with Professor Wendy Laura Belcher” and then use "Select by Time Slot" button on the right side of the page.


Recent Pedagogy and Professional Development Workshops

Continuing the Inclusive Teaching Conversation

Join us for a follow-up discussion after the lecture by Dr. Alison Gammie on Widening the Pipeline: Inclusive Teaching for a Diverse Scientific Workforce.  Please join us to continue the inclusive teaching conversation, whether or not you were able to attend the event. The goal is to create a relaxed environment where teachers at Princeton can come for comfortable conversations about inclusivity in the classroom.  We want to stimulate discussion and create a list of actionable goals that all of us can use to make Princeton a more inclusive campus.

Designing a Course

Are you preparing a new syllabus for a new teaching position or job search? This workshop examines course design and syllabus preparation from the perspective of student learning, using a variety of models from across the disciplines. Workshop activities guide you in defining your goals for your students and then using them to shape all aspects of a well-integrated course, from your class format to student assignments, exams, and the syllabus.

Efficient and Effective Lesson Planning

Leading a precept is hard, and for those who want to do it well, preparation can take a lot of time. What do the experts say about how to be the teacher you want to be while staying on top of your other work—and staying sane? This workshop will introduce best practices in lesson planning across disciplines and give participants a chance to practice proven strategies to maximize student learning while making your preparation more efficient.

Grading Student Writing

This workshop, offered in concurrent sessions for graduate students in either humanities/social sciences or sciences/engineering, will focus on concrete strategies for bringing increased objectivity and consistency to grading student writing--without using quotas or curves.  Participants will also learn about quick, effective ways to guide their students through the writing process and elicit stronger papers. Each workshop will be led by staff from the Princeton Writing Program. Please note: This is not a session on graduate student writing; it is a session on how to grade undergraduate student writing.

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton:
Trigger Warnings and Microaggressions 

The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning will host an informal but structured lunch discussion about trigger warnings and microaggressions. What do these terms mean, and do they mean the same thing to students that they do to faculty? Dr. LaTanya Buck, Dean for Diversity & Inclusion and Dr. Rashidah Andrews, Director of Studies in Forbes College, will lead our discussion with a collaborative unpacking of the terms “trigger warning” and “microaggression.” They will then use examples from suggested readings, personal/professional vignettes, and thought-provoking prompts to engage the group in critical dialogue. Finally, they will suggest concrete ways in which we can present sensitive material inclusively and turn uncomfortable conversations or moments in the classroom into opportunities to help our students come to appreciate their own assumptions and engage meaningfully across difference.

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton:
Widening the Pipeline: Inclusive Teaching for a Diverse Scientific Workforce

Universities have a responsibility to help build a diverse and effective scientific workforce; research teams perform better when they include a variety of perspectives, insights, and experiences. So how do universities increase the number of individuals from groups underrepresented in the scientific workforce? How can we broaden areas of inquiry, enhance global competitiveness, create inclusive learning environments and build public trust? Dr. Alison Gammie will discuss current research into effective interventions to increase the interest, motivation, preparedness and persistence of students from underrepresented groups in the scientific disciplines, and will offer concrete strategies for inclusive teaching and learning in STEM - and beyond - at Princeton.   Alison Gammie, Ph.D., is director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at the National Institutes of Health and a former Princeton faculty member.

Making the Most of the Teaching Transcript

The Teaching Transcript Program guides you in enhancing your teaching skills and provides documentation of your formal pedagogical training for the academic job search. In this lunchtime meeting, participants plan strategies for effectively reflecting on their teaching throughout the semester. We discuss components of our program such as the class observation as well as how to draw on that and our workshops to prepare an effective statement of teaching philosophy and syllabus, which are the written work for the Transcript.

Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers

In this workshop, you’ll learn techniques--based on American Physics Society guidelines--for clarifying mentor and mentee roles and responsibilities and establishing clear expectations. These practical approaches can prevent frustration, over-dependence, and a lack of productivity which can make working with a mentee unsatisfying. Take away a useful framework for working with your particular mentee over the coming summer.

Mercer County Community College/Princeton Teaching Partnership Information Session

Join us for an information session with Dr. David Edwards, VP for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College, to learn more about the Mercer County Community College/Princeton Teaching Partnership program and the application process. Co-sponsored by the Graduate School.

Preparing to Write a Meaningful Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Teaching statements have become important in academic job searches as more and more colleges and universities are requesting them from applicants for faculty positions. This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of the teaching statement and present recent research on how search committees interpret them. We will also discuss how writing a statement can serve as a valuable means of enhancing one’s own teaching strategies. This workshop will provide a context for participants to start writing their own statements by drafting key elements of them that draw on their teaching experiences and their goals for their students.

Preparing Your Teaching Demonstration for a Campus Interview

A campus visit invitation from a search committee is terrific news, but it often comes with the challenging request for a “teaching demo.” In this workshop, we’ll talk about what questions you should ask and how you can use the answers from a particular hiring institution to craft an effective demonstration of your teaching prowess. During the workshop, you’ll begin the process of planning an engaging lesson to highlight the strengths of your teaching for hiring committees and beyond.

Talking about Teaching in an Academic Interview

While graduate students and post-doctoral fellows receive ample opportunity to present their doctoral research in forums such as departmental colloquia or national conferences, they rarely talk about teaching and pedagogy in such public settings. As a result, they may lack the preparation for speaking about their teaching in compelling terms when it may count the most: the job interview. This workshop gives participants the chance to begin--or refine--that preparation as they anticipate a campus visit. Co-sponsored with the Office of Career Services.

Teaching in the American Classroom

Is your classroom at Princeton the first American classroom you’ve spent time in? Have you noticed that Princeton undergraduates sometimes have different expectations than you do about teaching and learning? Come and share your experiences and hear from a panel of experienced Graduate Teaching Fellows who were educated outside the US prior to coming to Princeton. We will discuss strategies that you can use in your classroom to make your teaching more effective and make you and your students more comfortable. This is directed both at new and experienced AIs who are ready to reflect and build on their work.

Teaching with Technology:
Komonjo Website Showcase with Professor Thomas Conlan

The Komonjo (documents) website is a learning environment that supports Professor Conlan's seminar, EAS525-HIS520, Ancient and Medieval Japanese History. The site allows students in the course to explore transcriptions, translations, and historical contexts of a collection of medieval Japanese court documents. Students in the course have had an active role in translating and transcribing the documents. Images of each document can be zoomed and panned, in order to examine details, and transcriptions of the documents show where annotations have been added to the main text. Videos on the site feature Conlan speaking the collection, and interacting with facsimiles of documents to show how they were used. Professor Conlan describes the site in this way: "It is a radically new site -nothing comparable to it exists. It provides an introduction to how to read these documents, and insight into the epistolary culture of medieval Japan. For those interested in paleography, the photos and transcriptions provide a valuable tool to better learn how to read original documents. Others can gain insight into how to translate these difficult records. And this site also allows for some rare and little known documentary collections, held in Japan or the US (Princeton and Yale) to be disseminated to a wider audience. Finally, it reveals the synergy between teaching and research, for it showcases translations done in my graduate seminar."  NOTE: The Teaching with Technology series does not count towards the Teaching Transcript Program or the AI Orientation make-up.

Troubleshooting Your Precept – Leading Discussions, Solving Problems

Tired of doing homework problems on the board? Can't get your students to talk on topic? Come and share your experiences with fellow preceptors and a panel of experienced Graduate Teaching Fellows from the McGraw Center. We will discuss strategies that you can use in your classroom to address your specific concerns. These workshops are directed at both new graduate Assistants in Instruction and experienced AI's who want to invigorate their classrooms with new teaching strategies. 

The Rewriting Wikipedia Project: Africa and the Diaspora Workshops

Concerned that the contents of Wikipedia are written predominantly by white men, and that women, people of color and other marginal groups are underrepresented in Wikipedia content? This workshop will take place in two sessions:  the first, for faculty, gives an overview of the political implications of editing Wikipedia and provides an introduction to editing Wikipedia; the second session at 4:30 p.m. for students and interested instructors, will be a wikithon dedicated to adding and improving entries on Africa and the African Diaspora to Wikipedia.  Students should bring their own laptops in order to participate in the wikithon.

Sponsored by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Center for Digital Humanities, Department of African American Studies

Scholar as Teacher series

In this series, faculty members distinguished for their teaching offer reflections on their practice as teachers. All programs meet over lunch from 12:15-1:20 p.m. in 330 Frist. 

Jenny Greene, AST - ‘From Prison to Princeton: How PTI Taught Me to be a Better Professor’ presented by Jenny Greene, Associate Professor of Astrophysical Sciences and Director of Graduate Studies

Supporting Trans Students in the Classroom

Trans and gender non-conforming students are increasingly comfortable being out in the classroom but often are frustrated or let down by their instructors’ apathy, lack of knowledge or discomfort about their identities and experiences. Instructors who can address the needs of trans and gender non-conforming students in the classroom can make a huge difference in these students’ classroom success and their passion for the topic being taught. In this works with Princeton LGBT Center staff Judy Jarvis and Andy Cofino, attendees will learn vocabulary relevant to trans and gender non-conforming students, information on the campus climate for trans students, best practices for pronouns in the classroom, and a robust Q&A. We welcome AIs with any and all levels of experience working with trans and gender non-conforming students to attend.

Troubleshooting Your Precept – Leading Discussions, Solving Problems

Tired of doing homework problems on the board? Can't get your students to talk on topic? Come share your experiences with fellow preceptors and a panel of experienced Graduate Teaching Fellows from the McGraw Center. We will discuss strategies that you can use in your classroom to address your specific concerns. This conversation is directed at both new graduate Assistants in Instruction and experienced AI's who want to invigorate their classrooms with new teaching strategies.

What is a Diversity Statement?

A new requirement has been cropping up in advertisements for faculty positions lately: the diversity statement. What is a “diversity statement” and how can you write a good one? Building on our knowledge of what hiring committees look for in statements of teaching philosophy, we'll provide some general guidelines for this new genre. Given that the form is so new, we'll also work together to brainstorm creative and persuasive approaches. Please bring example job postings in your field that request a diversity statement as well as your drafts in progress, and come ready to roll up your sleeves and tackle this new genre.