How does one become a great teacher?At TEP, we believe that great teachers engage students in meaningful learning, reflect on how to improve their teaching, and inspire life-long changes in students’ habits of mind and action.
TEP’s new Graduate Teaching Initiative (GTI) offers UO graduate students structured and rigorous, yet flexible, pathways to develop as college teachers. Those who complete a series of core requirements earn a certificate of completion: GTI students participate in individual- and small-group teaching consultations, draft a teaching portfolio, observe classes taught by faculty and peers, and attend various workshops and conversations on teaching.
In addition, students who develop a special project that makes a substantive, original contribution to the UO’s community of teaching and learning can earn an advanced certificate of completion.
Graduate students who “take the initiative” to develop their teaching and earn a certificate of completion will be announced and celebrated at the end of each academic year. The initiative seeks to endorse and help frame excellent teaching development activities already offered by academic departments and other campus units, such as the Graduate School, Science Literacy Program, and Center on Diversity and Community.
Why should you participate in the Graduate Teaching Initiative?
The GTI helps give you a structured but flexible means of developing and enhancing your teaching. The initiative challenges you to:
- Learn and practice research-driven best practices for engaging and inspiring students.
- Increase your marketability when you apply for faculty or administrative positions.
- Develop and articulate a professional identity as a teacher-scholar.
- Connect to and help shape an imaginative, resourceful, dedicated teaching community at the UO.
What does it take to earn a certificate of completion? Should I pursue an ‘advanced’ certificate?
Each level of the initiative incorporates various opportunities for growth and reflection as a teacher. Participants can complete and document the required components in whatever order and in whatever timeframe you choose, so long as all the components are completed by the end of your degree program. The advanced certificate of completion is distinct, but its required components complement the core program. In other words, someone who has completed the initiative’s core components will have made progress towards obtaining an advanced certificate of completion.
Fuller descriptions of the components of each certificate are available on the TEP website.
By enrolling in the initiative, you will have access to greater resources and communication from TEP to help you pursue these components at your own pace.
Do you have to be in the GTI to work with TEP?
No. The GTI is intended to help students navigate their professional development as a teacher, but TEP continues to serve all teachers across rank and department at the UO. The GTI is purely an expansion of our services that any graduate student may access. You can learn about the different ways we serve our teaching community at tep.uoregon.edu.
Participating in the initiative is the choice of individual GTFs; our process is not a substitute for departmentally based teacher training.