Teaching opportunities provided by Baltimore Underground Science Space, Baltimore City Community College, Coppin State University, Goucher College, Loyola University Maryland, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, and Morgan State University. 

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland enjoy superb research training but have limited opportunities to teach. Academic institutions value real classroom teaching over experience as a Teaching Assistant. The Teaching Fellows program gives trainees a hands-on teaching experience with mentorship and coaching from exemplary undergraduate teaching faculty at local institutions. This experience prepares you for teaching responsibilities at academic faculty positions.

Preparing to Apply

Potential Collaborative Teaching Fellowship program applicants are encouraged to participate in the JHU Teaching Academy or equivalent pedagogy training before applying. The selection committee and host institutions prefer applicants with previous experience serving as a teaching assistant or leading courses in the specific topic areas indicated in their applications.

Please note:

If you are in a visa status sponsored by JHU, you must contact the Office of International Services ([email protected]) to determine your eligibility to engage in paid teaching activities. Failure to do so could result in a violation of your visa status. 

Post-doctoral fellows that are employed at a rate of 100% FTE (Full Time Equivalent) for their research/appointment must be pre-approved before any additional work (e.g. a paid teaching opportunity) is undertaken. Please work with your department or center Administrator who will work with the Office of the Dean on the necessary approval, before you accept a paid teaching opportunity.

Please understand that these policies are not to limit our support of your professional development but to protect you from being in violation of possible visa and/or funding restrictions. Both the Office of International Services and your deptartment or center Administrator will be able to review your specific case and make recommendations based on your eligibility. 

The Collaborative Teaching Fellowship Experience

Interviews with some of our fellows

What did you enjoy most about your Collaborative Teaching Fellowship?

·      Effective workshops delivered by JHU faculty with expertise in undergrad/grad teaching.

·      Flexible training schedule with three phases that can span along the entire postdoc training and fit the busy research schedule.

·      Hands-on experience under the mentorship of experienced faculty in local institutions.

·      Opportunities to build connections with local institutions to learn more about faculty careers in different kinds of institutions as well as open doors to future job applications.

·      Introduction to resources of faculty development, such as CIRTL

How did this experience and/or the mentorship you received impact your career trajectory? 

I have always had a strong desire to become a faculty member who works with both undergraduate and graduate students in both classroom and lab settings. The Collaborative Teaching Fellowship provided me with the necessary teaching training and experience to qualify for such a position. Through the program, I was matched with a faculty mentor at Morgan State University (MSU), where I was able to implement the active learning strategies that I had learned in the teaching workshops. Throughout the teaching fellowship, both my mentor and students gave me the feedback, which helped me to continuously improve my teaching skills. Additionally, attending departmental faculty meetings during the teaching fellowship allowed me to learn more about non-R1 research university faculty careers and to build connections with colleagues.

Did the Collaborative Teaching fellowship help prepare you for your current faculty position? If so, how?

Currently, I am a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Biology at MSU, and I can attribute much of my success to the Collaborative Teaching Fellowship. The program changed my understanding of teaching from being teacher-centered to being student-centered, and it taught me that teaching is a scientific, artistic, social, and creative endeavor. The inspiration and training I received from the program helped me to develop my own teaching philosophy, which has served as the foundation for my teaching career. During my last year of postdoctoral fellowship at JHU, I designed and launched a pre-college summer course called Medical School Intensive, which has become the most popular JHU summer course since 2017 the first year of launching. As a faculty at MSU, I was honored to receive the 2019 University Faculty Award for Teaching (one awardee/year), and my course redesign was ranked #1 in the Measurement Instrument for Scientific Teaching survey of students.

Do you have any advice for future Collaborative Teaching Fellows or graduate students/post-doctoral fellows interested in pursuing an academic career that will involve teaching?

Be proactive and make good use of what the program offers. I would encourage future fellows to actively seek out feedback from mentors and students, attend departmental meetings at the teaching institution, and continuously strive to improve their teaching skills.

What did you enjoy most about your Collaborative Teaching Fellowship at Goucher?
I really enjoyed interacting one-on-one with students. The course that I taught was designed around the discussion of research articles so I was able to help teach students what academic and real-world research is like. I also guest lectured for a Psychology course. I don’t have a psychology background but was able to share the neuroscience perspective on topics that they were studying. I created an activity where the students sketched comic strips of some of the concepts from the lesson material, and they responded positively to the exercise. The teacher was pleased with the activity and plans to incorporate it into the course.

Was your mentor helpful?
My mentor sat in on the lectures I led and provided useful feedback. She noticed that I was standing in one place throughout the duration of the lecture and suggested moving around the room and other such techniques for capturing students’ attention. She also walked me through student evaluation feedback forms and gave advice on improving my teaching skills. Also, before leading the guest lecture for the psychology course, I attended some of the professor’s lectures and she shared some books on teaching skills (‘Make It Stick’ - http://makeitstick.net/ & ‘Teaching Naked’ - http://teachingnaked.com/ ). She, too, was very open to providing feedback on my performance and agreed to provide a letter of support in the future.

Do you want to pursue a career in teaching? If so, do you feel more prepared after your Collaborative Teaching fellowship?
Although I had previous teaching experience (primarily through mentoring and training high school and undergraduate students in the lab), I think this fellowship was a great opportunity to gain experience teaching in higher education. I envision a career that emphasizes teaching and research equally. I definitely feel more prepared to pursue a teaching career in higher education after my Collaborative Teaching Fellowship. I was also able to take advantage of the Teaching Academy ‘Teaching Topics and Tapas course’ and found Ann Riley’s talk on Teaching Styles very useful. I highly recommend her course at the Bloomberg SPH, ‘Teaching at the University Level’ for students interested in teaching careers since you learn about syllabus development, writing a teaching philosophy and eventually develop a teaching portfolio.

Any advice for future Collaborative Teaching Fellows?
I would advise other Collaborative Teaching Fellows to keep in mind that teaching is quite different from presenting a talk at a scientific seminar. The pace at which you talk is key. It is crucial to pause and give students some time to digest the information, take notes and ask questions. Unlike with seminar talks, repeating yourself frequently and using different words may be necessary. In other words, even if you have presented talks frequently as a scientist, your experience as a Collaborative Teaching Fellow will be helpful. It may be a good idea to record your lectures so that you can go back to them to learn how you could improve your teaching skills. I also found it important to set my own deadlines and not to rely solely on deadlines set by my mentor. It helped me manage time so I could be better prepared for lectures. I would also advise fellows to discuss the fellowship responsibilities beforehand with their mentor and to try to set a schedule for receiving assignments, grading assignments and other expected duties. I had to juggle postdoc responsibilities with teaching and planning helped a lot. Luckily, I have a supportive advisor at Hopkins who was open to my pursuing opportunities to gain teaching skills, which helped a lot with juggling my research and the Collaborative Teaching Fellowship.

What did you enjoy most about your Collaborative Teaching Fellowship at Loyola?
I really enjoyed interacting with students during my office hours. The course has three exams before the final exam and a grade below a C is considered deficient. Some students were very open about their difficulties with the course content and I was able to help some move from a failing grade to a B minus or better which was nice.

Was your mentor helpful?
My mentor was very helpful. She sat in on my classes and provided feedback on my teaching style and course material important to emphasize for students. Before I started teaching classes, I sat in on her classes to get a sense of her teaching style and to keep my delivery of the class material consistent.

Do you want to pursue a career in teaching? If so, do you feel more prepared after your Collaborative Teaching fellowship?
I hope to get an academic position in research and teaching, and definitely feel more prepared after my Collaborative Teaching Fellowship. My previous teaching experience was primarily teaching lab courses with 20 to 25 students, and the lecture I taught had 90 students. I learned to interact with a wide variety of students – some already familiar with the course content, some new to the material and some that didn’t care. The fellowship provided me with useful practice in communicating with a diverse audience without alienating them all. Overall, the Collaborative Teaching Fellowship met my expectations. I hoped to be able to guide a group of students and I was able to interact with and mentor a group of students majoring in biology.

Any advice for future Collaborative Teaching Fellows?
I would tell future fellows not to be intimidated by a lack of experience and that practice is the best way to learn. Teaching students in the lab is much different than in a large classroom. It’s important to make sure the content is clear and that you are prepared for their questions. Many students will question your content and ask for lots of details on the information you present in the course.