Many of our graduate students and postdocs serve the UMass community in the classroom and in the laboratory, as teaching assistants and solo instructors. In addition to supporting those teaching right now, OPD also helps prepare graduate students and postdocs for careers as teachers.

Manuela Borzone, PhD student in Comparative Literature

Whether geared toward classroom management, interpersonal communication with students, or streamlining class preparation and grading, the teaching workshops helped me further develop my teaching skills as a graduate instructor and discussion leader. As a result, I feel more confident in my ability to deliver quality instruction to our undergraduates.

Manuela Borzone (PhD student, Comparative Literature)

Upcoming Events


The Teaching Statement (and the Academic Cover Letter)

Sep 25, 2019 | 11:30am - 1:00pm | 538 Goodell

How do you talk about teaching on the faculty job market? What are search committees looking for? How can you stand out? In this workshop, you will draft language about teaching that is suitable for all facets of the faculty application, including the teaching statement, cover letter, and in interviews. Please feel free to bring your lunch; snacks will be provided. 


How To Make a Lesson Plan

Sep 26, 2019 | 1:00pm - 2:15pm | 528 Goodell

You don’t have hours to spend preparing to teach, but you want to do a great job and feel confident that you are prepared! In this workshop, you will learn tricks for making a lesson plan that will help you prepare substantive learning activities for your students and strategies for managing your class time. 


Teaching at Teaching Intensive Institutions

Oct 4, 2019 | 9:00am - 3:00pm | Westfield State University

Many faculty enjoy rewarding careers at colleges and universities that primarily emphasize teaching, including liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and regional comprehensive universities. This free one-day regional conference brings together graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to discuss what it’s like to work at teaching intensive institutions and how to apply for these faculty positions. Graduate students and postdocs will engage with faculty and deans from a range of teaching-intensive institutions across the New England region through a series of talks, panel presentations, and networking opportunities.


International Instructors Working Group: Identity and Authority in the Classroom

Oct 8, 2019 | 2:30pm - 4:00pm | 301 Goodell

Come to talk about how your own identities (specifically nationality, but also race, gender, age, etc.) may impact interactions with your students, and develop pedagogical strategies that will help you to create an inclusive learning environment in which your students and you can thrive. Join us to build community with other international faculty, post-docs and graduate teaching assistants! Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning. 


Additional Resources

  • The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) organizes a variety of events and often partners with OPD on programming to jointly serve faculty, postdoc, and graduate student instructors. Their website also offers additional teaching resources.
  • The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) helps STEM graduate students and postdocs across the country strategically position themselves for careers in college and university teaching through a series of comprehensive on-line workshops and optional evidence-based teaching projects. The UMass CIRTL chapter also leads in-person workshops for the UMass campus.
  • The Instructional Innovation office offers year-round workshops to help faculty, postdoc, and graduate student instructors better use technology, such as Moodle and Echo360, in the classroom.
  • There are many online pedagogical resources that will inspire instructors with best-practices for learning. For example, Faculty Focus regular publishes short articles on effective teaching strategies for the college classroom and The Chronicle Vitae also often publishes about pedagogy and teaching as a career.


Contact us for more information on OPD’s Teaching workshops and assistance.

OPD Workshop participants