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Master Class: Graduate Students Discuss Teaching Methods with Peers

Arriving on campus before classes begin might seem like an activity limited to first-years. However, the 300 graduate students that headed to the Center for Teaching and Learning this past fall were in for their own kind of orientation–an intensive two-day instruction workshop to prepare them for teaching College courses. Students took part in large-scale discussions about classroom ethics and attended smaller group sessions devoted to topics ranging from teaching in the American classroom to the role of the teaching assistant. Martin Baeumel, a PhD candidate in Germanic Studies and consultant at the Center for Teaching and Learning, co-taught a session alongside Britni Ratliff, SM’07, PhD’11 and Jessica Robinson, AM’05 titled “Pedagogical Self-Assessment: How Do You Know Your Students Are Learning?”, which argued that self-assessment is one of the most important aspects of teaching. Beaumel says: “When you start teaching, if you notice a class isn’t going well, you might tend to prepare more content. And 99 percent of the time, this particular class will go even worse, because you’re so focused on content you lose touch with what students need.”

For more information on professional development opportunities through the Center for Teaching and Learning, click here.

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