Please see the Program Guide for Teaching for further information.
How are teaching positions assigned?
Before each term, priority (teaching year) and other eligible students submit a TF application to the graduate registrar, which includes a ranked list of courses for which they would like to teach.
The registrar works with the Associate DGS and a committee comprised of graduate student representatives from many of the geographic fields to assign students to classes. Assignments are based on students’ ranked list, course demand, prior teaching experience, etc. Each semester, priority of assignment choice is given to students who have not had an opportunity to teach for their advisor or had one of their top choices, if applicable.
Sometimes students are asked to teach beyond their geographic and temporal fields, if undergraduate demand and undergraduate course offerings and enrollments demand it. The Yale undergraduate history curriculum varies from year to year based on changing course offerings and faculty leave schedules.
Changes to teaching assignments also may occur unexpectedly during shopping period, due to changing undergraduate enrollment in courses during the first weeks of class. History courses with higher undergraduate demand may have additional teaching fellows assigned to teach sections for that course; History courses with lower enrollments may have fewer sections offered than expected, leading to a reassignment of graduate teaching fellows.
What are the benefits of teaching outside my immediate field of expertise?
While the department strives to assign students to courses that are close to their scholarly interests, a significant portion of what is learned as a teaching fellow applies across undergraduate courses, regardless of the subject matter. Teaching fellows learn to manage a seminar environment (the section), work with students on their writing and their mastery of course content, gain experience teaching with a variety of primary and secondary sources, learn about the processes of student evaluation and assessment, and observe the delivery and organization of course material.
Teaching in a range of courses, beyond one’s immediate area of expertise, broadens the intellectual context for one’s own teaching and scholarship, and prepares one to participate in the History profession across its many subfields and topical areas.
How do I get the books for my TF assignment? How do I get access to the course’s Canvas site?
Faculty are responsible for the provision of desk copies. Faculty members should request desk copies from publishers when they order the books for their course. Please contact the course instructor to ensure that you have books when you need them. The instructor is also responsible for adding you to the Canvas site for the course in the TF role.
How do I find out where my sections meet?
Classrooms for sections are assigned by the University Registrar’s Office. You can find them by visiting http://courses.yale.edu and clicking on the button “Discussion Section Locations” at the bottom left of the page. Please note that section rooms may not be assigned until the day before the sections are scheduled to meet.
When is the final and where do I get blue books?
Final examinations are scheduled by Yale College and their timing is listed on Yale Course Search. Teaching fellows are expected to attend and assist in the administration of the final examination.
Custodial services should put blue books in the room for the final examination. If you need blue books for any other reason, you may see Essie Lucky-Barros in McClellan 414 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who do I talk with if I need to discuss problems or issues with my TF position or faculty instructor?
The department Associate DGS is the point-person for any issues relating to teaching. In the case that the Associate DGS is the instructor, you may discuss problems with the DGS or Chair.
Beyond teaching and grading, what are a TF’s responsibilities?
There are various types of TF assignments, and the responsibilities vary by TF type. A TF 20 Discussion Section Leader is the most common assignment in History. There are also some assignments for TF 20 Writing-Intensive Section Leader or TF 20 Foreign Language Discussion Section Leader. The types of TF assignments and the corresponding responsibilities can be found on the Graduate School website (http://gsas.yale.edu) under “Academic & Professional Development.” An e-mail is also sent from the Deans of Yale College and the Graduate School at the beginning of each term with information about TF responsibilities.
Just prior to their first term of teaching, students must attend the Teaching @ Yale Day training sessions run by the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. These trainings are offered every term.
Students are encouraged to consider completing the Certificate of College Teaching Preparation through the Poorvu Center.
What are non-instructional TF professional development opportunities?
Some opportunities are available in units other than academic departments (e.g., libraries, museums, etc.). Only priority students are eligible to apply for these positions, which can be found at https://yaleteachingopps.org/cmx_content.aspx?cpid=6.
Log in with your Net ID and password, click on “My Dashboard,” “Find an Opportunity,” and then “Show All Active Opportunities.”
When can I start teaching?
Graduate students are expected to begin teaching in their third year in the program, in both semesters. In some cases, with prior approval, students can begin teaching in the second semester of their second year in the program.
Is sixth year teaching guaranteed?
Sixth year graduate students are guaranteed a teaching position:
a) if they have not yet used their initial four terms of teaching fellowship; OR
b) if their advisors attests that they are on path to submit their dissertation by March of their sixth year;
AND if they do not have another guaranteed year of financial support beyond teaching.
What teaching opportunities exist for students in their seventh year?
Seventh-year students who are still registered for the PhD may submit applications to teach. These applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis, depending on availability, course demand, etc. The department typically does have teaching appointments available for seventh-year students, however, seventh-year teaching appointments pay at a lower level than priority teaching appointments, which are enhanced by the broader GSAS financial package.
What opportunities exist to teach or co-teach my own course?
The history department offers a small number of Part Time Acting Instructor (PTAI) awards per academic year. These PTAI appointments provide an opportunity for students to design and teach their own undergraduate seminar. Priority students are welcome to submit PTAI applications to the DUS in February; a request for applications will be sent to all graduate students. PTAI awards are contingent on undergraduate curricular demands. In certain years, PTAIs might be awarded only in certain fields, regardless of applications received. PTAI appointments are limited, in part, because Yale College expects the undergraduate curriculum to be delivered primarily by ladder faculty and a relatively small number of lecturers, often with long-term appointments at the university.
The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning also awards a very limited number of Associates in Teaching awards, which encourage innovative and collaborative teaching done jointly by a graduate student and a faculty member. The student and faculty member develop a syllabus together and submit an application to the Poorvu Center for consideration. Please see the Poorvu Center website for deadline information, most likely mid-February.
Advanced graduate students with teaching experience also are eligible to apply to teach in the Yale Summer Session. Yale Summer Session invites course proposals in October for the following summer and, in consultation with the department, selects courses based on Yale Summer Session’s assessment of likely student interest and the summer program’s curricular priorities. Additional summer teaching opportunities are available through the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, with applications solicited in the fall for the following summer.
How do I find teaching opportunities outside of Yale?
You may check advertisements for adjunct positions at colleges and universities in the area if you have exhausted your Yale teaching. Any notification received by the department about these opportunities will be sent to the historygrad mailing list and/or posted on OrgSync. Visiting teaching appointments also often can be found on the H-Net Job Guide.