Securing a Teaching Position

Securing a Teaching Position

ASSIGNMENT OF TEACHING

Each department or committee has its own procedure for assigning teaching fellowships. Assignment decisions are based on evaluations of each candidate’s proficiency in English, preparation, teaching experience, and satisfactory academic standing. Departments and committees will know the number of guaranteed slots that they can offer in each course in the coming academic year by mid-April. Graduate students eligible for TF positions should contact the relevant departments or committees early in the spring regarding which courses will require sections or tutors for the next academic year.

Preference for TF appointments is given to students for whom a guarantee was offered at admission; teaching preference is also given to students prior to the fifth year of residency. Departments and course heads are expected to consider all qualified applicants from within GSAS before hiring non-GSAS candidates; special attention should be paid to qualified applicants from related departments and disciplines.

If you are guaranteed teaching as part of your funding package but are unable to obtain a teaching fellowship appointment, you have the right to discuss this situation with appropriate departmental representatives to determine what can be done to locate an appointment. Be persistent.

A TF’s assignment to a course may change depending on undergraduate course enrollment. If the course attracts more students than anticipated, you may have the opportunity to teach an additional section. If the course enrolls fewer students than expected, you may need to find a teaching assignment in another course. Talk with your department administrator or graduate coordinator, who may know of last-minute openings resulting from increased enrollments or staff changes.
Whenever possible, TF appointments and provisional assignments are made before June 1. Applicants who are not chosen for a teaching fellowship will be informed by early June.

ASSIGNMENT OF TEACHING FELLOWSHIPS IN GENERAL EDUCATION AND OTHER COMMITTEES

In addition to department courses, teaching fellowships are available in the Program in General Education, the Harvard College Writing Program, the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard Summer School, and the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Program in General Education

The Program in General Education (Gen Ed) is the largest employer of TFs, appointing more than 200 graduate students from all three divisions (and SEAS) each term. Faculty from nearly all departments in the FAS teach Gen Ed courses. These courses are unique in comparison to department courses—and challenging to teach—because they enroll a broader range of undergraduates, many of whom are non-concentrators and may have little background in the topic. Furthermore, the pedagogical aims are different than those of department courses; Gen Ed courses are intended to help undergraduates connect classroom learning to the lives they lead outside of college, while most departmental courses are intended to introduce and train students in a discipline.  Most TFs are assigned to teach Gen Ed courses through their departments, however, graduate students interested in teaching a particular course may contact the course head directly by e-mailing a current CV along with an outline of any relevant academic background and teaching experience.

The total number of TFs hired in Gen Ed courses each term depends on the number of undergraduates enrolled in each course. Since Harvard undergraduates do not finalize their course enrollments until the end of the first week of the term, some courses must enlarge their teaching staffs in mid-September for fall term courses or early February for spring term courses. Faculty and departments begin appointing TFs once they receive initial course enrollment estimates several months before the beginning of the term, and adjust appointments as enrollment data is confirmed. If you have not been appointed for a course you would like to teach, it is recommended that you attend the first meetings of the course and speak with the faculty member(s) to see whether more TFs are needed.

Hiring decisions are made by faculty and departments in accordance with the FAS guidelines. If you are selected to teach in a Gen Ed course, the faculty member or department will inform the Gen Ed Office, who will contact you to complete teaching appointment forms. To guarantee payment in the first month of the term, these forms must be submitted by June 2 for the fall 2014 term and by October 31 for the spring 2015 term. Your first paycheck may be delayed if teaching appointments are processed after these deadlines.

Program in General Education
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, Suite 470
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Phone: 617-495-2563
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: generaleducation.fas.harvard.edu
Stephanie Kenen, administrative director and associate dean of undergraduate education
Laura Hess, associate director

 

Harvard College Writing Program

Teaching positions in Expository Writing—at the rank of preceptor—become available each year. You can apply for these positions at the Harvard College Writing Program office:
Harvard College Writing Program
One Bow Street, Suite 250
Phone: 617-495-2566
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web:  www.fas.harvard.edu/expos
Thomas Jehn, Sosland Director
Karen Heath, senior preceptor
Rebecca Skolnik, program administrator

Applications are due by late November (call for details). Interviews with the hiring committee take place in February and March.

Qualified applicants not selected in the spring due to a limited number of slots at that time are urged to keep their current addresses and phone numbers on file with the Harvard College Writing Program office. Vacancies occasionally need to be filled even during late summer.

If you are not familiar with the Program’s current curriculum and would like further information before applying for a position, please make inquiries by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Committee on Degrees in History and Literature

The Committee on Degrees in History and Literature hires graduate students with interdisciplinary interests and experience. Most tutors come from languages, comparative literature, English, history, American studies, Middle Eastern studies, Near Eastern languages and civilizations, history of art and architecture, and history of science departments. The committee hires only candidates who have passed their general exams and have prior teaching experience. Appointments are for one full academic year. Most tutors teach individual senior and small group junior tutorials, but there are sometimes placements in co-taught sophomore group tutorials. Once hired, tutors in History and Literature may have appointments renewed for subsequent years. Openings usually have specific requirements related to the subject fields chosen by the undergraduates in the concentration. Applications, available online in December, are due in January. The committee chair and director of studies interview prospective tutors in March. On the basis of credentials, recommendations, and interviews, the committee makes teaching offers in April for the following year.

Students interested in tutoring in this interdisciplinary concentration should visit the History and Literature office:

Committee on Degrees in History and Literature
Barker Center 122, 12 Quincy Street
Phone: 617-495-4029
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.fas.harvard.edu/histlit
Amanda Claybaugh, chair
Lauren Kaminsky, director of studies
Jessica Shires, department administrator

 

Department of Comparative Literature

Graduate students in the Department of Comparative Literature generally do their teaching in a variety of venues: in 100-level lecture as well as tutorial courses offered in the department’s undergraduate program, in General Education and humanities, in the History and Literature program, and in the various language and literature departments, as well as in related fields including history, history of science, music, and philosophy.

Literature 100-level courses
The Department of Comparative Literature offers a number of 100-level courses on a variety of topics for which graduate students often serve as TFs. Interested students are encouraged to reach out to comparative literature faculty directly about these opportunities in the semester preceding the semester in which the course is offered.

Undergraduate tutorials
Department graduate students supervise junior and senior tutorials (Literature 98a/b and Literature 99a/b), which are required of all juniors and seniors concentrating in comparative literature. In junior tutorial, tutors work with students to design a reading course based on the student’s specific interests and fields; while senior tutorial is devoted to the research and writing of the senior thesis and preparation for the oral examinations. Tutorials meet weekly for one to one-and-a-half hours. All tutorials are reading and writing intensive, forming the core around which a student develops a larger field of study.  Each tutor also serves as the student’s academic advisor.

Tutors are ordinarily expected to participate on the tutorial board in both the fall and the spring semesters of an academic year. Tutoring two students each semester is the equivalent of a 1/5 TF appointment. Application forms are available in the program coordinator’s office on the first floor of Dana-Palmer House and on the department website; interviews and hiring decisions are made in April.

For more information about teaching in the undergraduate program in comparative literature, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.

Department of Comparative Literature
Dana-Palmer House
16 Quincy Street
Phone: 617-495-4186
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.complit.fas.harvard.edu
Sandra Naddaff, director of undergraduate studies

 

Committee on Degrees in Social Studies

TFs in social studies teach tutorials for Social Studies 10, “An Introduction to Social Studies,’’ and also advise senior theses. Most social studies tutors come from the social sciences, especially the government, sociology, history, economics, and anthropology departments. Knowledge of social theory is essential for teaching in Social Studies 10, and as the course is an especially rigorous one, we typically hire experienced teachers. TFs in social studies also serve as academic advisors to their students and participate in the broader social studies community.

Applications to teach in social studies are due by the end of February each year. Applicants are asked to send a letter, CV, and a summary of teaching evaluations. Two letters of recommendation specifically addressing your teaching abilities should be sent under separate cover.

Committee on Degrees in Social Studies
Hilles Library
59 Shepard Street
Phone: 617-495-2163
Richard Tuck, chair
Anya Bernstein, director of studies
Kate Anable, department administrator

 

Department of Visual and Environmental Studies

The Department of Visual and Environmental Studies (VES) hires teaching assistants with specialized skills for classes in the studio arts, film, and photography, and TFs for lecture courses on film studies, environmental studies, and contemporary art. Teaching assistants will often be graduates of the department or professionals from outside the Harvard community. Those interested should contact the director of undergraduate studies or manager of academic programs.

VES lecture courses, particularly in film studies, may employ TFs from related departments such as anthropology, comparative literature, and the history of art and architecture. Please contact the director of graduate studies for film and visual studies or the director of undergraduate studies for film studies for further information regarding teaching in these areas.

Department of Visual and Environmental Studies
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
24 Quincy Street
Phone: 617-495-3251
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.ves.fas.harvard.edu
Ruth Lingford, director of undergraduate studies,
Eric Rentschler, director of graduate studies
Paula Soares, manager of academic programs
Emily Amendola, graduate coordinator

 

Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

The Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) hires TFs to lead sections and tutorials in conjunction with introductory courses and larger lecture courses. The program also hires graduate students to the tutorial board to work individually with juniors on specific topics. Since the concentration emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach, applicants should be well-versed in feminist theory, theories of sexuality, and/or gender studies in general, as well as within their own disciplines.

Current Harvard graduate students who wish to be considered for appointment as TFs in WGS courses or as tutors for WGS junior tutorials must first apply for admission to the WGS Graduate Tutorial Board. Harvard graduate students may apply by e-mailing a brief bio form, CV, and teaching evaluations (where available) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , director of undergraduate studies. Please allow three to four weeks for a response. Qualified students will be selected for an interview.

Priority for teaching assignments is given to GSAS G3 and G4 students and to students enrolled in the WGS graduate secondary field program who have not yet met the program teaching requirement. Please do not contact professors directly to inquire about TF positions unless you have first spoken to Caroline Light.

Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Boylston Hall, Ground Floor, Harvard Yard
Phone: 617-495-9199
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.fas.harvard.edu/wgs
Alice Jardine, chair
Caroline Light, director of undergraduate studies

 

Harvard Summer School

Support teaching staff appointments are made by the Summer School upon the recommendation of the course instructor and, in some cases, with the recommendation of the department chair under whose auspices a course is being given. A preview of courses appears on the Summer School website in January and is followed by the full online catalogue when registration opens in early March. Last summer, more than 200 support-teaching staff members were hired for summer courses.
The Summer School hires teaching assistants, language drill instructors, graders, and course assistants. Appointments depend on enrollments and documented course needs.

Teaching Assistants and Language Drill Instructors: Most teaching assistant appointments are in computer, laboratory science, and foreign language courses (although larger courses in the humanities and social sciences may also need assistants). Specific duties will be assigned by the course instructor, but generally, teaching assistants are expected to attend lectures, lead their own labs or sections, grade assignments, and hold office hours. Language drill instructors hold daily drill sections in intensive language courses, grade assignments, and hold office hours. All instructional staff are expected to be present on campus for the entire summer session.

Graders: Courses with 30 or more students may have graders. Only undergraduate and non-credit students count toward the minimum enrollment requirement, since faculty are responsible for grading graduate student work. A normal workload for a grader includes two substantial written assignments (e.g., an hour exam and final exam, or a long paper and a final exam).

Course Assistants: Course assistants are sometimes hired in studio workshops that require extensive classroom work with small groups of students.

Student and faculty resources and support are different in the summer; the Harvard Summer School Faculty Handbook provides information about teaching in the summer session.
Teaching in the Summer School does not count as part of the four-year TF limit for GSAS students.

Harvard Summer School
51 Brattle Street
Phone: 617-495-0311
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.summer.harvard.edu
Lisa Lauterbach Laskin, associate dean for academic affairs of the Harvard Summer School

 

Harvard Global Health Institute

The Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) helps to match TFs to undergraduate global health courses at Harvard College and also partners with the Bok Center to offer focused workshops for global health TFs at the beginning of each semester, in conjunction with the Bok Center’s Teaching Conferences. Successful TFs in global health courses have come from a wide range of graduate programs and disciplines. There is a diverse range of courses that are part of the General Education curriculum in global health and the Global Health and Health Policy (GHHP) secondary field.

If you are interested in being a TF for a particular global health course, we recommend contacting the course leadership directly. If you would like to be considered for TF positions for global health courses as they arise, please sign up for the Global Health Student Registry, indicating your interest in serving as a TF. Those wishing to be TFs should express interest by early May for fall term courses or by the beginning of October for spring term courses. Because Harvard undergraduates do not finalize their course enrollments until the end of the first week of the term, additional teaching opportunities may become available if courses unexpectedly need to enlarge their teaching staff in mid-September for fall term courses or early February for spring term courses.

Harvard Global Health Institute
104 Mount Auburn Street, 3rd Floor
Phone: 617-495-8222
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: globalhealth.harvard.edu
Cherie Ramirez, curriculum fellow