The CTE monthly newsletter.
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Although Excellence in Teaching Day will be held at a distance this year, we hope it can still provide a chance to reflect together on what this past year has meant for us as educators and how we’ll be approaching the year ahead.

Discussion: Responding to Racist Incidents

In light of the most recent racist incident reported on campus, the CTE is organizing an opportunity for instructors to strategize together around responding to racist incidents in the classroom (March 18, 4:00 - 5:00 pm). While research indicates that students appreciate it when instructors acknowledge events that rock the community, and many instructors feel an ethical and disciplinary responsibility to respond, it can be difficult to decide how to go about doing so.

We hope you'll join us to exchange ideas with fellow instructors about what is at stake in the classroom during these discussions, what your options are, and what factors you may need to account for when deciding how to proceed. We'll start the session by briefly reviewing the Responding to Racist Incident resource and then open the floor for discussion. Find out more and register online for the Responding to Racist Incidents discussion session.

Excellence in Teaching Day: May 21

As we come to the end of what, for many of us, has been among the most challenging years of our teaching careers, what it means to celebrate “Excellence in Teaching Day” takes on new meaning. The pandemic has forced us not only to remake our courses and our classrooms but has also challenged us to redefine what “excellence” in teaching (and learning) looks like.

In many ways, Excellence in Teaching Day this year marks a moment of transition, a time to pause and see what meaning we can make of these past twelve months as well as a time to start imagining what we want teaching and learning to look like in a post-pandemic world. ETD will again be a fully virtual event, with an abbreviated program, but we are hoping it still serves as a space for colleagues to gather and think together about the work of the past year and the years ahead.

Please mark Friday, May 21 as Excellence in Teaching Day on your calendar, and we’ll share more details about the day’s program soon.

Recommend Faculty Speakers

This year, in particular, we’re eager to hear from BC faculty about how they’re making sense of this unique time. And so we welcome your suggestions of colleagues who you would want to hear speak (or if you yourself would want to share) at this year’s Excellence in Teaching Day. Please use this brief form to share your suggestions, or feel free to reach out to us at

We’re curious to hear from people who have discovered new practices or approaches this year that they plan to incorporate into future classes. And we’re also interested in hearing from those willing to share their reflections on what the past year has meant to them: the new ways they’ve reckoned with their own and their students’ human limitations; the new insights they’ve gained into what is truly fundamental to learning in their disciplines; and the ways they’ve navigated joy and grief in the classroom during this difficult year.

Upcoming Teaching Roundtables

Thank you to everyone who has attended and enriched our Teaching Roundtable conversations, which seek to address timely topics during this pandemic moment. Each roundtable begins with reflections from a couple invited faculty members, and then we open up the discussion to the full group. Click the links below for more information and to register for this semester’s final roundtables:

This Isn’t Busywork - Making Structure Meaningful | Apr 7, 3:00 - 4:00
Experiments in De-Centering Whiteness in the Classroom | Apr 20, 12:00 - 1:00

JFCT: Making Sense of Course Evaluations

Course evaluations are meant to be tools to help faculty identify areas for improvement in their teaching. But making sense of what can often feel like contradictory feedback from our students can be a challenge. For next month’s Junior Faculty Conversation on Teaching (April 13 from 12:00 - 1:00), we’ll discuss strategies for analyzing the sometimes unclear feedback we get from students and for prioritizing how we choose to respond to it. Find more information and register online.

Also, there’s still time to sign up for tomorrow’s JFCT conversation on Teaching to Repair Democracy (March 17, 4:00 - 5:00), which will take up the question of what role our classrooms play in shaping our democracy and preparing students to be informed participants in it.

Mid-Semester Feedback Consultations

If you’re planning to gather mid-semester feedback from your students -- either using the new standard form launched by the Provost’s Office or a form of your own design -- CTE staff are available to help you make sense of that feedback and strategize what to do with it. Our primary role in these consultations is to serve as a sounding board, helping you identify trends in your students’ comments and prioritize your responses to them. To learn more or to set up a feedback consultation, please contact us at In the meantime, you can also review the brief resource we’ve put together about what to do with mid-semester feedback.

Workshops for Grads and Postdocs

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can participate in the Apprenticeship in College Teaching (ACT) program. Participants are welcome to attend workshops, whether or not they plan to complete the whole ACT program. This semester, we are offering remote workshops on topics such as "Facilitating Difficult Dialogues" and "Effective Use of Technology." Learn about ACT program requirements or register for individual workshops.

Tech Tip: Restoring Deleted Files in Canvas

If you’ve accidentally deleted a file or page from a course Canvas site, you may be able to recover it using the “Undelete” page, which provides a list of recently deleted items on that site. For instructions on accessing this page for a Canvas site, see this guide to restoring deleted files.

UCT: Teaching and Mentoring Expense Grants

Applications for Teaching and Mentoring Expense (TAME) grants are due April 16, 2021. TAME funds may be used for almost any expense related to the improvement of teaching, advising or mentoring of BC students (up to $2000). For instance, funds may be used for supplies or equipment not covered by departmental budgets or faculty development at teaching oriented workshops. Contact Shaylonda Barton for questions.

Center for Teaching Excellence
140 Commonwealth Ave
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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