Teaching Relief for Learning Testimonials
Each semester, a selected number of FAS faculty will be eligible for a novel kind of teaching relief: “Teaching Relief for Learning” (TRL). The purpose of a TRL is to allow a faculty member to spend a semester in the classroom on the other side of the desk – as a student. Faculty may take courses related to research and teaching projects, they may use this opportunity to explore new fields or hone new technical skills and knowledge, or they may use the opportunity for pure intellectual exploration. Learn more and apply here.
Below, faculty who participated in TRL shared their thoughts on and experiences of the program.
Courses in Evolutionary Biology and Statistics & Data Science
The TRL semester helped me both see how to teach mathematical models used in linguistics and get a better overall sense of how the statistics work I do fits into other subjects. TRL offered a particular type of intellectual rejuvenation around covid – it was wonderful to have space to explore concepts outside of and complementary to my areas of focus.
Courses in Economics and Music
It was such a luxury to return to student life for a semester. As I had hoped, I learned a great deal from my Economics colleagues for my current book project. And as a pleasant surprise, I also learned more about how Yale College looks from the student point of view.
A course in Computer Science
I wanted to be able to teach a course that addressed an area of need in my department, so I used my TRL to take Introductions to Systems Programming CS323 – a class whose prerequisite I regularly taught. It was reassuring to see a lot of the material I included in the prerequisite class, and it gave me a better view of the curriculum as a whole.
Courses in Film and Media Studies, Anthropology, and History
I was able to attend a marvelous course taught by Prof. Claudia Valeggia that has long caught my eye, Anthropology 230: Evolutionary Biology of Women’s Reproductive Lives. It is a superb course, not only because of the content, but also because of Claudia’s unique teaching skills. Although the topic of the course is very different from the courses I teach for the Spanish Department, I am learning lessons from it that I have already begun to implement in my own classes.
Courses in Dutch
A semester of TRL helped me to chart how I could make a more ambitious project a reality. It was so luxurious to have the space to steep myself in language training and a new scholarly literature.
Courses in Biology and Geology
The TRL semester … solved a problem I had encountered in this new research project. Standard triennial leaves are scarce and valuable, and it was hard for me to justify dedicating one of those to just taking basic science classes—I need those semesters away from Yale responsibilities for more intensive archival and interview research. But with the TRL program, I was able to learn some science while still staying engaged with most of my other duties around Yale, and save my next triennial leave to dedicate to fieldwork and writing.
Courses in Ecology
It is challenging to find the time to “retrain” when you are at the peak of your career, and relief from teaching provided that opportunity and at just the right time.
Courses in Musicology, History, Book History, and Theology
Courses in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Economics
I […] had the chance to solve a problem for my research that I couldn’t solve earlier by delving into some of the class material, which I wouldn’t have the chance to know unless taking this class.
Courses in Film and Media Studies and Art History
It has been a terrific semester - I enjoyed it tremendously and gained a lot, intellectually and professionally.
Courses in the School of the Environment and Statistics and Data Science
As the pace of knowledge creation continues to accelerate, it is important the researchers have the opportunity to learn new skills and explore new fields, just as their colleagues in business and the professions do.
Courses in Latin, Mathematics, and Formal Analysis
[I]t was a wonderful opportunity, and one that made me feel appreciated and valued by and loyal to Yale.
Courses in Management, Computer Science, and Economics
Courses in History
Courses in Mathematics and Logic
Courses in Book History, Ethnobotany, and Musicology
Courses in Statistics and Computer Science
Courses in Computer Science