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« Unconventional teaching ideas that work: On writing fun, strange, and open ended exams (C. Thi Nguyen) | Main | 'Merit' and the job-market: skewed values? »

12/12/2018

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Paul

I think that these are all good indicators Marcus. I just evaluated grad student teaching awards, and another factor is pedagogical development and (possibly) teaching awards. Obviously the latter are hard to come by, but if you come from a major institution I imagine you have resources available to you. Here we have an academy for teaching and learning, which puts on everything from lectures on specific ideas to improve teaching, to round table discussions, to syllabi revamping bootcamps, summer institutes and more. If a candidate had solid evaluations, thoughtful syllabi and teaching statement, and teaching development courses or activities, that I think would really set you apart. Do these extracurricular activities guarantee effectiveness? Of course not, but it does show the committee that you care and that you are taking concrete steps to improve your teaching.

Michael Brent

I think that, for the purposes of wooing hiring committees, a "good syllabi" will be good when it contains the sort of creative, pedagogically well-justified assignments that you mention, which are described and justified in your statement of pedagogy. Other than a good syllabus or two, your statement of pedagogy, and teaching evaluation data, indications of teaching effectiveness can include (1) a letter from someone who has observed your teaching, (2) a letter from a student with whom you have worked, (3) attendance at various pedagogy-focused workshops such as those offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) at your institution, or the APA Teaching meetings, (4) awards and other formal recognitions, (5) written or published engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning, and more!

Asst Prof

I have never served on a hiring committee, but my thought is that part of a teaching portfolio can serve as evidence for the claims in a teaching statement. For example, if my teaching statement follows Marcus’s past advice and describes concrete assignments and activities I have used to engage students, I can then also provide the full text of these assignments and activity prompts in a teaching portfolio for hiring committee members who want to peruse them in more detail.

Even things like the graphic design of assignments (is there adequate white space, clear headings) and the way things are phrased (are assignments encouraging, open-minded, clear, tied to learning outcomes) can potentially reveal one’s practices and character as a teacher.

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