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Becoming A Teacher

The Graduate School of UCD Anschutz Medical Campus


If you are a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or new faculty member, it is likely that TEACHING lies in your future. Plan to attend this half-day Workshop on Becoming a Teacher to be held on the AMC Campus

Friday, September 4, 2009 
1:00 - 4:30 PM.
ED2-North/1303 (map)

Conducted every other year by two extraordinary academics - Anne Curzan, PhD and Lisa Damour, PhD, co-authors of the acclaimed book First Day to Final Grade: A Graduate Student's Guide to Teaching, Drs. Curzan and Damour will conduct a workshop that will provide you with an in-depth discussion of a variety of practical and professional issues confronting beginning teachers; you can also receive your own copy of their book (free to grad students & postdocs while supplies last).

This experience promises to be of lasting value, like its predecessors in 2003, 2005, and 2007, and will look good on your c.v.

"A Workshop like this provides an efficient way to acquire essential teaching skills. This is especially useful on a health sciences campus like ours, where hands-on teaching experiences for students and postdocs are more limited than on other campuses."
- John Freed, PhD, Dean of the Graduate School

Space is limited! If you plan to attend, please register below.

Anne Curzan
Lisa Damour
Click here for Anne's CV
Click here for Lisa's CV

Anne Curzan and Lisa Damour graduated with honors from Yale University in the early 1990's. They each pursued graduate work at the University of Michigan, Anne in English, Lisa in Clinical Psychology, receiving their doctorates (along with further honors) in 1997 and 1998. Anne accepted a faculty position in Seattle (U. Washington) before returning to Ann Arbor (as Assistant (now Associate) Professor of English). Lisa, after completing a postdoc in Ann Arbor, moved to Cleveland where she maintains a clinical practice in child psychology and teaches at a small liberal arts college.

Lisa and Anne are co-authors of a practical guide (already in its second edition) for beginning teachers.

1:00 - 1:45 pm: Beginning a Teaching Career
Teaching is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of a career in academia, and it is often an integral part of being a successful faculty member at any academic institution. While most faculty members refine their teaching skills for the duration of their academic careers, beginning instructors are often given little help with getting started as a teacher. This first session addresses some of the anxieties, challenges, and rewards of beginning a teaching career. Topics to be covered include: finding your teaching persona and establishing your authority as an instructor; maintaining perspective on your teaching experience; and balancing your role as a student/researcher with your job as an instructor.

1:45 - 2:30 pm: Lecturing & Running Discussions
New instructors rarely receive support in developing the skills needed to give effective lectures and moderate useful discussions. Students are not sponges, yet many lecturers expect students to soak up information as if they were. This session will begin with a focus on developing a lecture and delivering it well, incorporating student engagement and participation where possible. Next, we will turn our attention to the components of conducting engaging, meaningful classroom discussions that facilitate active student learning.

2:30 - 2:45 pm: Break

2:45 - 3:45 pm: Scenarios and Strategies: Addressing Individual Student Concerns
Much teaching happens in your interactions with individual students both inside and outside the classroom or the lab. And some of these interactions raise challenging questions for us as instructors. For example, some students will make excessive requests for your time, some students will require more focused attention in class, not all students will be able to do the required work, and some students may challenge your teaching or grading or your sense of appropriate boundaries. We will give you strategies for shaping these interactions in ways that address the students’ needs productively and maintain your authority in comfortable ways.

3:45 - 4:30 pm: Giving Feedback and Getting Feedback Teaching is a two-way street: we provide feedback to students about the quality of their work and the level of their learning, and students should have opportunities to provide us with comments on our teaching. In this session, we will share hard-earned advice about how to grade student work productively, fairly, and efficiently. We will also cover useful strategies for soliciting student feedback on how your course is working as a whole and on the specific areas in which your students need more information or support.

Registration for Becoming a Teacher is voluntary, to help us obtain an accurate head count.
Call (303 724-2911) or send an email to
Please let her know your status: grad student, postdoc, or other.

  • Registration for 2011 workshop will be available closer to the event.
  • Ed2-North (=Building P28), Room 1303
  • Attendance is FREE
  • UCD graduate students and postdocs will receive a complimentary copy of the second edition of the book, "From First Day to Final Grade: A Graduate Student's Guide to Teaching" while supplies last.