In graduate school, many are us are assigned to teach courses as associate instructors or teaching assistants for the very first time. When I learned that my assistantship included a teaching component, I was both excited and panicked because I had never created a syllabus, designed a lesson plan, or even given a public lecture. Since I knew that a career in academia requires teaching and mentoring, I searched for campus resources, courses, and training opportunities to develop skills in these areas. My first stop was a meeting with an instructional consultant to develop a new course. I learned quickly that it would take some time (more than one consultation) to learn about the in and outs of teaching. I want to share two resources at IU that can support teaching and career development for graduate students:
- The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) at IU provides teaching support for graduate students and faculty. They offer one-on-one consultations and workshops related to assignment design, course and syllabus development, and workshops for writing teaching and diversity statements, and more. CITL recently established the Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship Program (GTAP) specifically to support graduate students to develop the skills and experiences necessary for future careers in academia. Teaching experience is not required to start the GTAP.
- IU recently became a member of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) network. CIRTL is a national effort to improve undergraduate education through future faculty development, with a current focus on STEM and social/behavioral science fields. This program offers many online workshops, events, and training opportunities to support graduate students and postdocs prepare for academic and non-academic career pathways. This summer, for example, I completed an eight-week online course titled “An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching“. CIRTL also offers career-related workshops related to preparing CVs and resume or writing teaching statements. Next week, Dr. Katie Kearns (CITL Lead Instructional Consultant) and I will co-facilitate a CIRTLcast event titled “Topics in STEMinism: Women Preparing for Post-PhD Careers” (flyer above, link to register). This event provides tips for students preparing for the job market and highlights gender-inclusive practices for hiring committees, faculty, departments, and institutions to support students pursuing careers these fields. You can visit the network site at www.cirtl.net to create a CIRTL account and pursue these opportunities.