Teaching Days

Teaching Days is a series of workshops to help prepare teaching assistants and trainees for the roles and responsibilities of teaching at MIT. Topics include how to give feedback, present a class session, and facilitate office hours, among other practical subjects related to teaching.

The IAP 2024 Teaching Days workshops will be held Monday, January 29 – Friday, February 2, and include online and in-person sessions. Registration opens Monday, January 15, via Canvas. (The link will be available once registration opens.)

See the schedule with links to workshop descriptions below.

Workshop Schedule

Sessions listed in BOLD denote workshops will be in-person only; all others will be held online.

Monday, January 2910:00 am – 12:00 pmLeading a Recitation: Using Examples Effectively (in person, 4-370)
Monday, January 292:30 pm – 4:30 pmLeading a Recitation: Get Students Talking (in person, 4-370)
Tuesday, January 3010:00 am – 12:00 pmLeading a Recitation: Facilitating Meaningful Practice and Group Work (in person, 4-370)
Tuesday, January 301:00 pm – 2:00 pmExperienced Panels (online)
Wednesday, January 31N/AFestival of Learning
Thursday, February 110:00 am – 12:00 pm Presenting a Class Session (in person, 4-370)
Thursday, February 11:00 pm – 2:00 pmSupporting Student Wellbeing (SSWB) (in person, 2-190)
Thursday, February 12:30 pm – 4:30 pmInclusive Teaching (in person, 4-370)
Friday, February 210:00 am – 12:00 pm Facilitating Office Hours (online)
Friday, February 21:00 pm – 2:00 pmThe Responsible Employee Obligation (online)
Friday, February 22:30 pm – 4:30 pmGiving Feedback on Reports, Proposals, and Essays (Online)

Workshop Descriptions

Getting Students Talking

Leading a Recitation Series, part 1

Conducting a discussion and encouraging student participation in recitations presents unique challenges as new teaching assistants and trainees balance their own preparation with interpersonal skills while being open to improvisation and still fulfilling learning goals. This module will provide a generalized outline for encouraging student participation and leading an active class discussion. You will learn about the most common barriers to participation and specific strategies to overcome these barriers and get students engaged and active. 

Inclusive Teaching

Inclusive teaching involves deliberately creating an equitable learning environment that supports all students’ learning and sense of belonging in the classroom community. In this introductory workshop, you will consider how you can support student learning by gaining awareness of the student experience and learn about specific inclusive teaching techniques that can be applied to your work as a teaching assistant or trainee. You will explore and apply key dispositions and practices that create welcoming and equitable learning communities through reflection, discussion, and case study work.

Supporting Student Wellbeing

Learning is most effective when students feel intellectually engaged and emotionally and personally supported. In this module, you will learn how to recognize the signs of student distress and ways to support your students and peers in a teaching role. The session is facilitated by Jimmy Doan and Ray Feller from Student Support and Wellbeing, part of the Division of Student Life. Their office provides advice and advocacy for students and acts as a hub of resources, referrals, and information across the MIT community. Student Support and Wellbeing staff are integrated with other resources, including Disability and Access Services, to provide comprehensive academic and personal support to undergraduates.

Presenting a Class Session

The thought of leading a class session can be intimidating. This module will introduce you to strategies for presenting effectively to your class, whether through pre-recorded videos, Zoom lectures and discussions, or writing on a tablet. This module is facilitated by MIT SoE Communication Lab director Diana Chien and Comm Lab Fellow Jingfan Yang. The Comm Lab is a program that provides peer-to-peer support for building communication skills.

Using Examples Effectively

Leading a Recitation Series, part 2

This module will provide you with a basic outline for a lecture or recitation session, examples of techniques you can use to actively engage students, and the research-based rationale for including those elements. This module is geared towards leaders of recitation sections that focus on problem-solving, but all are welcome.

Experienced Panels

Experienced student teachers from different courses and schools will share the most important things they learned about being effective and will answer questions from the audience about how to get started in this new teaching role. This module is presented as three parallel sessions, one for the School of Engineering, one for the School of Science, and one for SHASS, SA+P, and Sloan.

Facilitating Office Hours

In this module, you will learn how to better assess where students are in their thinking, use questioning techniques to encourage students to explain their thinking and help students enhance their learning by connecting solution steps to course concepts. This module will also present research on effective tutoring.

Facilitating Meaningful Practice and Group Work

Leading a Recitation Series, part 3

In this module you will learn best practices for helping students practice skills developed in lecture, recitations, or homework and facilitate group work effectively. You will review several video examples of group work in recitation and identify strategies to make these activities successful.

Responsible Employee Obligation

This module helps you understand the Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR, formerly known as T9BR), your obligations as a Responsible Employee, and what to do if you are to become aware of any situations related to gender- or sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct which is sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence, and stalking). This module will introduce you to IDHR, talk about MIT policies, go over the various reporting options, cover important confidential resources, and deep-dive into what it means to be a Responsible Employee.

Note: If your department requires completion of this module, only the asynchronous portions of this workshop on Canvas are required. In the synchronous session, staff from IDHR will answer common questions, discuss scenarios, and help you better understand your role as a Responsible Employee.

Giving Feedback on Reports, Proposals, and Essays

Feedback on written assignments can be a challenging and often time-consuming activity. In this module, you will learn how to formulate helpful feedback for your students while balancing your feedback between style and content. You will also discuss ways to grade writing more efficiently and effectively.

Using Canvas

Canvas is the new Learning Management System (LMS) available to the entire MIT community adopted Fall 2020. This asynchronous module introduces you to the basic and advanced features of Canvas with examples of how it might be used.