Teaching with Objects, Part 1

In this four-part series, Departmental Teaching Fellows Anita Nikkanen (Comparative Literature), Erin Blevins (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology), and Meredith Schweig (Music) reflect on the why, how, and what of teaching with objects. These reflections grew out of “Teaching with Tangible Things: Museum Collections in the Classroom,” a workshop they offered at the Bok Center’s 2012…

Creative Assignment Chaos?

Among the many things I learned at the Bok Center’s Fall Teaching Conference was this: TFs are anxious about creative assignments. During a panel sponsored by the Program in General Education, creative assignments came up again and again. How should they be evaluated? What should prompts look like? What campus resources can TFs rely on?…

Students Teaching Teachers Part III

Be honest. Be clear. But above all, be passionate. During a Fall Teaching Conference session that featured five Harvard undergraduates, this dictum appeared more often and more emphatically than any other. Students preferred TFs who were enthusiastic,  engaging, entertaining, and excited about what they were teaching – in a word, passionate. They even went so far…

Students Teaching Teachers Part II

At last week’s Bok Center Fall Teaching Conference, five rising juniors and seniors participated in a panel discussion about teaching at Harvard. We’ve already shared one revelation that came out of the panel. Among the many other insightful gems they offered were several that fall under the following rubric: Be clear. What are your standards…

Turning the Tables: Students Teaching Teachers

When you’re looking to improve your teaching, the first resources you might turn to are other teachers, pedagogical scholarship, or the Bok Center (hint, hint!). But what about the people who have the largest stake in your ability to teach successfully – the students? After all, students generally have more (and more current) section and…

Day 1 of the FTC

We wrapped up Day 1 of the Fall Teaching Conference just an hour or so ago, during which we discussed the “Fundamentals of Teaching” in the three divisions, heard an inspiring talk from Mike Smith about becoming part of Harvard’s “Community of Teachers,” and witnessed a panel of experienced Gen Ed TFs give thoughts on…