Experience and Auctoritee: Becoming Great Teachers in Graduate School (A Roundtable)

deadline for submissions: 
September 16, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Medieval Academy Graduate Student Committee
contact email: 

This roundtable will bring together advanced graduate students and early career scholars who have demonstrated excellence in teaching. The participants will discuss how graduate students and recent PhDs can develop, implement, manage, improve, and promote their teaching practices.

Tenure-track positions at research universities are few and far between. Young scholars must be prepared to spend anywhere from one year to an entire career at an institution where the focus is teaching rather than traditional research scholarship. With a frequent emphasis on coursework and the dissertation, doctoral programs may project a disconnect between these degree requirements and the teaching component required for a successful career in academia. How do students balance the demands of their scholarship with the obligation to teach? What do students do when teaching opportunities are rare or nonexistent in their departments? How can students parlay experience teaching lower-level classes into proposals for upper-level courses, as required during the job application process? How can a medievalist use his/her specialty within general courses? And finally, what is needed to craft a compelling teaching statement?

Topics will depend on the expertise of the participants, but may include being a scholar vs. being a teacher, securing meaningful teaching experiences, teaching outside one’s area of specialization, pedagogy publications, pedagogy training, tools and tips for teaching, syllabus design, and inclusivity in the medieval classroom. The goal of this roundtable is to gather a variety of perspectives regarding teaching best practices and to suggest ways that students can leverage and market diverse experiences associated with teaching or research assistantships.

We foresee this roundtable consisting of about 4 participants who speak for 10 minutes each, reserving the rest of the time for discussion and Q&A. Abstracts should be approximately 200 words.