General Information on the Teaching Fellow Program

General Information on the Teaching Fellow Program

Teaching fellows are valued and important members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and play an important role in the education of Harvard College students.

As a teaching fellow, you assist in courses under the supervision of course heads, who hold formal teaching appointments. [Note: the teaching fellowship is not a formal teaching appointment. Only those holding appointments of professor, lecturer, or preceptor are responsible for the structure and content of a course.] Your duties may include teaching sections, conducting tutorials, recommending grades, and supervising independent study projects.

The exact form these duties take varies a good deal in practice. In teaching a tutorial or supervising an independent study project, you may find yourself working with little direct supervision, while in some large courses you may work as a team with the course head and other TFs, with whom you share responsibility for grading examinations, problem sets, and papers.

Since its inception in 1939, the Teaching Fellow Program has expanded from a few individuals to more than 1,200 per year. Awards for excellent performance in the classroom have been established by a number of departments, and the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning also awards a certificate for distinction in teaching.