Learning to Teach Week: Holistic well-being

Our educational spaces need to be environments that are inclusive, nurturing, and empowering for learners. To create and sustain such spaces, holistic pedagogy is needed, since it focuses on supporting students' well-being in all aspects of their lives. Holistic pedagogy offers a comprehensive teaching framework that is centred around supporting students’ wellness in the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual spheres of their life. Holistic well-being encompasses mind, body, and spirit, and requires instructors to consider how their teaching impacts students' roles beyond academia. By designing holistic educational environments that are student centred, it is possible to create learning opportunities that support learners’ socio-emotional and academic development.

SKILLSETS' Learning to Teach events are designed to equip you with the tools to integrate holistic pedagogies in a practical and sustainable manner and to support your journey as a graduate student with teaching responsibilities. This year’s events cover topics like active learning, innovative teaching, and time management, and aim to equip graduate students with tools to integrate holistic pedagogies and create inclusive learning environments.

Learn more about the LTT events and register for individual sessions below:

Holistic well-being for graduate student instructors

Monday May 15, 10:30-11:30am (online) |Register


Given the multiple demands of teaching while pursuing a graduate degree, it's often challenging to engage in reflexive practices for professional development, particularly around pedagogy. This workshop supports grad students with teaching duties in integrating practices for their personal and professional well-being.

Learning outcomes:

  • Reflect on the relationship between your personal identity and profession
  • Learn strategies for compartmentalization
  • Identify sources of burnout
  • Apply holistic teaching practices for self-reflection and development

Giving effective feedback

Monday May 15, 2:00-3:00pm (online) |Register


Effective feedback clarifies expectations, promotes self-evaluation, and helps students become more involved in their learning. This workshop provides strategies for giving constructive feedback that promotes student growth and development.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the principles of constructive feedback
  • Design self-evaluation exercises for students
  • Identify strategies for clarifying assessment goals and expectations

Course design: how to get started

Tuesday May 16, 10:30am-12:30pm (online) |Register


Whether you're starting your teaching journey or creating a teaching portfolio, designing a course that promotes learning and higher-level thinking is an essential skill. This workshop, in partnership with the Office of Science Education (OSE), introduces graduate students to learning-centered course design. Participants will identify learning-centered elements of a course, define alignment, and create their course description and student-centered learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes:

  • Identify learning-centered elements of a course/li>
  • Understand the concept of alignment
  • Create a course description
  • Formulate learning outcomes

Preparing and delivering effective lectures

Tuesday May 16, 2:00-3:00pm (online) |Register


Want to learn how to apply learning-centered principles to prepare and deliver effective lessons? In this session, you'll learn how to increase student engagement and develop a preliminary plan to implement these strategies in various course settings.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply learning-centered principles when you are designing and delivering a lesson
  • Become familiar with teaching strategies suitable for the audience and context
  • Make plan to use some of these strategies in designing and delivering your lessons

Teaching as a grad student Panel

Wednesday May 17, 10:30-11:30am (online) |Register


Are you a graduate student interested in teaching at the university level? Are you preparing to teach a course? Curious about what it’s like to teach with the principles of holistic well-being? Register for this panel to hear from current grad students about their teaching experiences and learn about the successes and challenges of teaching during your degree.

In this panel we will:

  • Discuss the best ways to find, apply for, and prepare for teaching opportunities as a graduate student
  • Identify challenges and strategies for success as a graduate student instructor
  • Reflect on how holistic well-being can inform our teaching practices

Engaging students using active learning strategies

Wednesday May 17, 2:00-3:00pm (online) |Register


Active learning is a student-centered approach that helps students consolidate their knowledge and develop a stronger understanding of course content. This workshop provides an overview of core principles and practical activities to incorporate into your teaching to increase student engagement.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the importance of active learning and what it entails
  • Become familiar with various active learning approaches in the classroom
  • Select appropriate activities for students from a range of active learning strategies
  • Identify and overcome challenges in the implementation of active learning techniques

The importance of classroom diversity

Thursday May 18, 10:30-11:30am (online) |Register


It is critical for anyone in a teaching role to gain a holistic understanding of their students’ capacity and level to ensure that you’re creating a learning environment that accommodates the needs of students from diverse backgrounds. In this workshop, you'll learn how to assess your students' capabilities and tailor your approach grading to ensure fairness and inclusivity.

In this panel we will:

  • Identify common needs of students with diverse learning needs
  • Understand strategies for creating a classroom space where students feel comfortable voicing concerns
  • Apply practical approaches for supporting students from diverse educational backgrounds

Time management for teaching as a grad student

Thursday May 18, 2:00-3:15pm (online) |Register


As a graduate student with teaching responsibilities, managing your time effectively is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In this workshop, you'll learn practical strategies for coping with the demands of teaching and grading while avoiding burnout and discover how to develop effective planning and marking strategies that increase work efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognize the importance of setting and organizing priorities
  • Identify obstacles to productivity
  • Apply strategies to effectively manage time

Classroom management

Friday May 19, 10:30-11:30am (online) |Register


Strong classroom management skills ensure that students can learn in an environment with a cohesive structure. This workshop provides an overview of proactive classroom management techniques, common challenges, and strategies for overcoming obstacles to establish order, engage students, and elicit student cooperation.

Learning outcomes:

  • Identify the elements of classroom management
  • Employ proactive classroom management strategies
  • Respond to common classroom management challenges

From Head to Heart: An Arduous Journey to Love in Teaching and Learning

Friday May 19, 2:00-3:00pm (online)|Register


Where does love fit into our teaching and learning? Should there be room for love in our classrooms? Can love guide us to well-being as teachers and students? Can love help us take on inequities and systemic barriers affecting many of our students in their learning journeys? Drawing from her experience as an educator, mentor, researcher and filmmaker, Michelle will share a Métis perspective of holistic well-being, addressing the role of relationships, cultural safety and compassionate advocacy as well as the potential of love to nurture healthy and dynamic sites of learning.

Michelle Smith is a Red River Métis filmmaker, media artist and educator born and raised in St. James, Manitoba. She is a founding member of the First Peoples Initiative, Indigenous Education Council and Indigenous Community Table at Dawson College in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) where she teaches Cinema-Communications. She is also co-founder of the Intercollegiate Decolonizing Network (IDN). She has directed and produced numerous documentary films and interactive media. She uses diverse media and participatory strategies to explore issues around Indigenous identity and resurgence, self-determined education and intercultural experience. She is Principle Investigator for the First Peoples Post-secondary Storytelling Exchange (fppse.net) and coordinated the Journeys First Peoples Transition program at Dawson for four years. She is Vanier scholar and PhD candidate in education at McGill University, doing community-based research on the topic of Indigenous educational sovereignty.

As a McGill student, your participation in full to activities such as training workshops and volunteering are tracked on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)! Having your co-curricular activities listed in one document can help you revise your CV or cover letter, prepare for interviews, and explore career options. Learn how to leverage this important document through myInvolvement, and make your training count!
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