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Graduate student teaching conference

Graduate Student Teaching Conference

2019 Graduate Student Teaching Conference

Friday, August 23, 2019, 8:30 - 2:00 - Higgins 300

  • 8:30 a.m. Light Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. Plenary: Engaging BC Students
  • 10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions #1
  • 11:50 a.m. Box Lunches & Concurrent Sessions #2
  • 1:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions #3


The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to providing equal access to its events and programs. Individuals with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may contact

Concurrent Session Descriptions

Interactive Lectures

While lecturing is often an essential part of teaching in Higher Education, students can be most successful when they also have opportunities to participate in more active learning. This session will explore ways to deliver engaging content and make the most of a strong lecture by interweaving it with other types of learning activities.


Lesson Planning

Knowing what concepts and skills to prioritize each day in the classroom can be challenging. This session will help those organizing class sessions or discussion sections think through effective and efficient ways of structuring each lesson to help them best implement their course’s learning goals.



Teaching Natural Sciences In The Lab

Science Teaching Assistants generally have more opportunities in the laboratory setting for direct contact with individual students than do instructors who teach in a traditional classroom. In this session, we will present a variety of scenarios that a lab TA might encounter and then discuss the options and resources available for managing each situation.

Troubleshooting Challenging Classroom Moments

Even experienced instructors can sometimes be caught off guard by unexpected student comments or other behaviors in the classroom. In this session, we’ll talk through some typical “challenging” scenarios and also leave plenty of time for open discussion, questions, and ideas.



Experiences Of BC Teaching Assistants Panel

A discussion among Boston College students who have served as Teaching Assistants about the opportunities and challenges of the TA role.

Experiences Of BC Teaching Fellows Panel

A discussion among Boston College students who have served as Teaching Fellows about the opportunities and challenges of the TF role.

Empowering Student Survivors

As a graduate student instructor, a student may disclose to you that they have survived a sexual assault. Moreover, the disturbingly high rate of sexual assaults on college campuses means that it is safe to assume that survivors are in your classes. In this interactive session participants will become acquainted with their obligations under Title IX, devise a script for receiving student disclosures, and identify strategies for supporting and empowering survivors in the classroom.


Facilitating Classroom Discussions

Classroom discussions are commonly used in higher education, but it is challenging to make discussion productive and engage all students. By the end of this interactive workshop, participants will be able to identify techniques for asking effective questions and devise strategies for managing some common challenges when facilitating discussion.



Experiences Of International Instructors Panel

A discussion among Boston College international students who have served as instructors about their opportunities, challenges, and experiences.

Experiences Of Underrepresented Instructors Panel 

A discussion among Boston College students who are members of underrepresented groups and have served as instructors about their opportunities, challenges, and experiences.

Recognizing And Responding To Students In Distress 

Over the last decade the numbers of students arriving on campus with severe psychological problems has steadily increased. This workshop will provide information and skills that will assist TAs and TFs when responding to students who are struggling. Participants will learn: 1) how to recognize students in distress, 2) what instructors can do to support students who are struggling, and 3) where on campus instructors can turn for help when working with a distressed student.

Tips For Grading Effectively And Efficiently

Grading is often believed to be one of the least enjoyable parts of teaching, but it is an incredibly important component of the learning process for our students. In this session, we’ll share ideas for how to more effectively manage your grading load while still providing useful guidance to students about their progress. Although we’ll briefly discuss the planning for grading more typical of a Teaching Fellow role, this session is intended to be most useful for Teaching Assistants who are newer to grading.