Teaching Opportunities

The Teaching Fellow Program

The GSAS’ Teaching Fellow Program provides the principal framework at Yale in which graduate students learn, under faculty guidance, to become effective teachers and to evaluate student work. In the third and fourth years, a Medieval Studies doctoral student will apply to serve as a TF in one of the departments whose faculty are involved with the program. During these years the teaching stipend replaces the fellowship stipend. In ordinary circumstances, a Medieval Studies doctoral student will be appointed as a TF for one course in each of four semesters. Teaching opportunities will be discussed on an individual basis with the DGS for Medieval Studies. 

Because undergraduate teaching takes place through the allied departments rather than Medieval Studies itself, students will need to begin early in coordinating their teaching. Here is a rough timeline:

Early in the program: Discuss teaching and career goals with the Medieval Studies DGS and other faculty advisers. Identify the department(s) most closely aligned with your skills, interests and needs.

Second year of coursework: Reach out to the DGS in the department where you would like to teach in your third year. Discuss potential opportunities, and any training needs. You should also keep an eye on GSAS’ register of teaching opportunities, especially if your top-choice department has limited teaching slots.

Summer before your third year: Register for all required training, including Teaching @Yale Day, GSAS’ common training requirement. Reach out to the faculty member for whom you’ll teach, and to more senior graduate students who have taught similar courses.

Beginning teaching: Keep in close touch with the instructor for your course, and reach out immediately if any problems develop.  Some departments have pedagogy workshops for which you can register. You should also strongly consider working with the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning to hone your skills.

As you advance, keep in close touch with the DGS of the department(s) with which you work most closely, and consider new kinds of teaching (for example, helping advise senior essays) to consider building your portfolio. Depending on your skills, you may also consider looking further afield for teaching opportunities–for example, Yale Libraries, or the Associates in Teaching Program described below.
All graduate students are eligible to earn the Certificate of College Teaching Preparation administered by the Poorvu Center, which provides systematic training in postsecondary teaching. If teaching forms a major part of your career goals, the CCTP will be a valuable tool for developing your skills.

The Associates in Teaching Program (ATP)

This program enables graduate students to work with a faculty member to conceptualize or redesign, plan, and co-teach an undergraduate course, usually at a more advanced level than graduate students ordinarily teach. Courses are approved on a competitive basis. The program is administered by the Poorvu Center: see their site for full guidelines.

The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning

The Poorvu Center is an invaluable resource for teachers at all levels, and offers a large, ongoing range of workshops and individual consultations.

Teaching beyond Yale

For those students looking to expand their skills and work with a wide range of students, many options are available. Be sure to keep your committee informed of your plans and goals in this area.

The Yale Prison Education Initiative, administered by Dwight Hall, offers the opportunity to teach Yale-accredited courses to incarcerated students in Connecticut, as well as some professional development fellowships for graduate students on a limited basis.

Many Medieval Studies students also seek out part-time adjunct teaching at regional Connecticut institutions. While this can be an excellent way to develop your experience and portfolio, be sure to consult with your adviser before taking on additional adjunct work: you will want to ensure that your teaching enhances rather than impedes the progress of your research, and that it does not conflict with the terms of your fellowship.