End-of-Summer Teaching Reconnect

A virtual course prep retreat for instructional faculty hosted by the FAS Scholars as Leaders, Scholars as Learners (SAL2) program and the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
The FAS Scholars as Leaders, Scholars as Learners (SAL2) program and the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning are delighted to announce a multi-day virtual working retreat for FAS instructional faculty, to take place from August 17, 2021 to August 19, 2021. This pilot program is open to all instructional faculty in the FAS.
This retreat is intended to support FAS instructional faculty in different ways, including (but not limited to): allowing participants an opportunity to connect or re-connect with colleagues as the university returns to in-person operations after pandemic; easing the transition from online to in-person teaching; and offering an opportunity to approach teaching prep with renewed motivation and excitement by working together with a group, rather than alone, especially following an exhausting year.
This retreat will offer participants a flexible program of structured working time alongside goal-setting sessions, optional workshops, and group discussions, promoting mutual encouragement, accountability, and offering structured time to create teaching materials, and work on teaching-related writing projects prior to the start of term.
Each day will have a larger “theme” for discussions and workshops, but participants are welcome to use the structured working time to make progress on any projects related to their work in the FAS.
Faculty are welcome to participate for all or only some of the days of the retreat, and for as much or as little of the time on any given day as is both useful and convenient for a participant’s schedule.
Retreats will be held using Zoom and Slack. This allows any faculty who wish to participate to do so, whether or not they have yet returned to New Haven.
Please use the webform attached to sign up. If you have any questions, please email Sebastian Rider-Bezerra at sebastian.bezerra@yale.edu.



Any any instructional (non-ladder) faculty member with a full- or part-time appointment in an FAS department or program or the MacMillan Center.


Tentative Schedule (subject to change)

Tuesday, August 17 (1:00 PM to 5:00 PM)
Theme: Teaching and pedagogy
  • 1:00 PM: Introductions and social time [Zoom]
  • 1:15 PM: Goal Setting and Objectives [Zoom]
  • 1:45 PM: Individual work
  • 2:30 PM: Check-in [Slack]
  • 2:45 PM: Optional Workshop: Approaching Syllabus Design (Poorvu) OR Individual work
    Workshop Description: With a couple weeks left before the semester begins, what approaches might you consider as you put the finishing touches on your syllabus? This workshop will provide opportunities for you to reflect on how your course goals and teaching values are conveyed in your syllabus, and to discover new Poorvu Center resources available to support your syllabus design and writing.   
  • 3:30 PM: Check-in [Slack]
  • 3:45 PM: Individual work
  • 4:30 PM: Final Check-in and Debrief
Wednesday, August 18 (1:00 PM to 4:30 PM)
Theme: Teaching and COVID-19
  • 1:00 PM: Check-in and discussion [Zoom]
  • 1:15 PM: Goal Setting [Zoom]
  • 1:30 PM: Optional Workshop: Translating remote teaching techniques back to the classroom (Poorvu) [Zoom] OR Individual work
    Workshop description: The move to remote teaching and learning forced us all to rethink our instructional approaches. In this workshop, we will reflect on data from Yale instructors and students about what worked in the past year, as well as our individual experiences. We’ll then consider how to incorporate those lessons as we return to face-to-face teaching.
  • 2:15 PM: Check-in [Slack]
  • 2:30 PM: Individual work
  • 3:15 PM: Check-in [Slack]
  • 3:30 PM: Optional Coffeehouse Chat - discussing pedagogical challenges (Poorvu) [Zoom] OR Individual work
    Description: In this informal discussion, we will work in small groups to share challenges that we have encountered in our teaching and brainstorm approaches to address those challenges in the coming semester. This session is also an opportunity to get to know other instructional faculty in a more intimate setting and gather new teaching ideas. Bring your favorite warm or iced beverage of choice!
  • 4:15 PM: Final Check-in and Debrief [Slack]
Thursday, August 19 (11:00 AM to 3:30 PM)
Theme: Accessibility and Student Experience(s)
  • 11:00 AM: Initial check-in and discussion [Zoom]
  • 11:15 AM: Goal Setting
  • 11:30 AM: Optional Workshop: Promoting Mental Wellness in the Return to Face to Face Classes (Poorvu) [Zoom] OR Individual work
    Workshop description: This workshop will consider the impact of the global pandemic on mental wellness of both students and instructors. Together we’ll strategize how to cultivate wellness in ourselves and others and explore relevant resources available for Yale students and instructors. 
  • 12:15 AM: Check-in [Slack]
  • 12:30 AM: Shared lunch (over Zoom) and social time [Zoom]
  • 2:30 AM: Optional Coffeehouse Chat - discussing how to know you’ve been successful in your teaching (Poorvu) [Zoom] OR Individual work
    Description: In this informal discussion, we will work in small groups to consider what successful teaching means and how to demonstrate and reflect on progress toward our teaching goals. This is an opportunity to get to know other instructional faculty in a more intimate setting and to reflect on professional development in a teaching career. Bring your favorite iced or warm beverage of choice!
  • 3:15 PM: Final check-in and Debrief [Slack]


This is not binding, but it helps us plan around expected rough numbers.
Please note that this is not binding--you can skip a workshop or join one you haven't signed up for; this is just to make sure we can communicate some rough numbers to the workshop leaders.
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