Support for your Fall Semester Teaching

The beginning of the Fall semester just a couple weeks away. Are you stressing about teaching a new course, teaching for the first time, or teaching at MIT for the first time?  The Teaching and Learning Lab is here to support you in your teaching, whether you’veDipa_CEEworkshop been teaching for years, or are just getting started!  Staff from TLL are also available to help create customized department-based workshops to serve the needs of groups of faculty, students, or postdocs in a particular discipline.

For NEW faculty:

TLL offers an “Orientation to Teaching” to help you think strategically about teaching, learn more about active learning and interactive teaching, and talk with MIT students and other faculty about teaching at MIT.  Dates and times for the orientations vary depending on the School, see the link above for details.

For Teaching Assistants:

We have designed a variety of workshops and seminars on teaching and learning that can help ease you into your new role and support you along the way this fall. If you are looking for a formal academic class, Janet Rankin, TLL’s Interim Director, is the instructor for Teaching College Level Science and Engineering (5.95, 7.95J, 18.049J, 8.395J).

On Thursday, September 1st — TLL will offer an Improv Workshop for recitation leaders who want to work on their communication skills in teaching situations and in general.  The workshop will allow you to practice using your verbal, vocal, and visual channels in a supportive and fun environment!

Friday, September 2nd — For TAs supporting subjects in the School of Engineering and the School of Science, TLL offers a “TA Teaching Orientation.”  Even if you have been a TA in the past, you are welcome to attend this workshop to learn about some of the common problems and pitfalls in classroom teaching. We will also discuss ways to engage students in class and help improve their learning through the use of active learning techniques. TLL also participates in several teaching orientations hosted by individual departments.

Beginning Thursday, September 8th — If you are a TA who will be leading a recitation this fall, “In the Trenches” is 7-seminar series that meets bi-weekly to provide a regular discussion group focused on your teaching related issues. Most of the meeting time is spent discussing teaching situations encountered by participants in their classrooms and options for applying research-based best-practices to support learning in these situations.

Tuesday, September 27th — Each term, TLL also hosts a series of Open Office Hours for TAs. Why? So that you have the opportunity to ask questions about teaching and get ideas for how to best support student learning. Office Hours for TAs are open to TAs from any discipline and no registration is necessary. Just drop in!  We are in E39-207, in Kendall Square.

NEW THIS FALL (Applications for the Fall 2016 term are due by September 21, 2016.)

This fall, TLL is introducing a Teaching Assistant Small Grants Program to provide funds (up to $500) for TAs to purchase materials that will allow them to enhance their recitations, tutorials, or lab sections. TAs may also use the funds to implement and facilitate in-class activities for students during lecture. It is expected that any non-consumable materials purchased with the award will remain with the corresponding MIT subject, instructor of record, or department. Funds may not be used for travel or food.

TLL’s consulting services extend to all educators in the MIT Community! We look forward to meeting and working with many new and experienced faculty, instructors, TAs, graduate students, and postdocs in the coming academic year. We encourage you to contact us if you’d like to discuss in any aspect of your Course Design & Delivery as the year progresses. Best wishes in your fall semester teaching!

(“Dr. Dipa Shah, Workshop Leader” from Allison Dougherty, MIT Civil & Environmental Engineering / cc by-nc-sa)

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