Graduate students wear a lot of different hats on campus. We are students, mentors, mentees, academics, authors, and teachers. Learning how to balance all of these identities can be difficult, especially when competing expectations pull you in a variety of different directions at once.

When I started out, for example, I had never taught before. And I was thrown into the deep end almost immediately. Nevertheless, I learned—through experience, talking with my peers, and observing my favorite teachers.

Over the last year, the GradHackers have had a lot to say about teaching, pedagogy, and course design. Below is a round-up of our most recent posts on the subject, which I, now a seasoned teacher, found insightful.

Tips for Teaching and Assessing Writing, Brady Krien. Teaching and assessing students’ writing go hand-in-hand. In this post, Brady introduces you to some of the basic principles of composition pedagogy. As he argues, “nothing trains you to write better than learning how to teach it.”

What I Learned in a Pedagogy Course, Ingrid Paredes. Reflecting on her graduate-level course on pedagogy through her university’s Learning Assistant Program, Ingrid writes that “accustomed to lecture-style classes designed for hundreds of students at a time, I didn’t know what to expect” of the course’s “student-centered, active, cooperative learning environment.”

Tuning Your Pedagogical Practice: Universal Design Learning, Neelofer Qadir. In this post on Universal Design Learning, Neelofer demonstrates how designing courses with a variety of access points for a variety of learners can positively impact student learning. She also includes a lot of links to get you started, too.

Tuning Your Pedagogical Practice: Incorporate Digital and Social Technology, Neelofer Qadir. When you are talking about designing undergraduate courses, you cannot avoid talking about the rolls digital and social technology play in them. In this post, Neelofer goes through several ways she has incorporated technology into her courses, including an important discussion on scaffolding.

First Day!, Patrick Bigsby. Teaching can (and should) start before the first day of class. As Patrick shows, falling into the Syllabus Week rut can set a less-than-ideal tone for the rest of the term. Instead, consider “tweaking your first-week routine for a more productive, engaging first day.”

Teach Like You Write, Daniel Korr. Sometimes changing your perspective on teaching can come from something you are already doing, in this case writing a dissertation. Daniel argues that many of the skills you have learned writing and researching could (and should) come to bear on your teaching, too. 

What are your teaching insights? Please share them in the comments or tweet us!

[Image by Flikr user Jacob Botter and used under a Creative Commons License

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