UK GradTeach Live!: Teaching Philosophy in Practice

As a teaching assistant, you are vital to UK’s teaching mission. You have dedicated your time and emotional labor to enhancing the learning experiences and success of undergraduates while balancing your many responsibilities as a graduate student. Now it’s time to showcase your contributions in a celebration of the impactful teaching and learning occurring across campus.

UK GradTeach Live! offers current or former TAs (recitation leaders, lab leaders, or primary instructors) the opportunity to showcase their teaching philosophy and instructional skills to the university community. Participants will have 3 minutes and 1 slide to engage the audience in their pedagogical grounding/teaching philosophy and present a concrete example of what that philosophy looks like in the classroom or lab.

This event offers the unique opportunity to practice how to talk about your teaching engagingly in interviews, teaching demonstrations, or chalk talks. The central challenge is to do so in a way that engages and holds the attention of your audience just as you engage and hold the attention of your students.

Please notice: due to COVID-19, we have moved the competition online and pushed back the dates. See the updated information below.

Preliminaries will take place on April 7th, via Zoom, from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Finals will take place on April 28th, via Zoom, from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Monetary prizes will be awarded to the first place ($750), second place ($500), third place ($250), and people’s choice ($250) winners!


Click the following link to register for UK GradTeach Live! Please register by Monday, March 30th.


Communicating Your Teaching Philosophy
March 10, from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
502 King Science & Engineering Library

Click here to download the slides from the workshop.

Rules and Judging Criteria

Click here for a printable rubric with rules and judging criteria.

  • The competition is limited to graduate students who are currently, or have recently been, teaching assistants or in primary instructor roles. This includes recitation and lab leaders, instructors teaching from a common syllabus, and instructors teaching their own course in the department.
  • One presentation slide is allowed.
  • Additional electronic media (sound and video files) are permitted but will be counted in the three minute time limit.
  • Additional props (costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, models, etc.) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum; competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judges is final.


Below are clips from the winners of our 2019 competition. We highly recommend that you watch these to see how they structured their presentations. Please keep in mind that the requirements have changed this year (last year we allowed three slides and five minutes). For specific questions, please contact Ashley Sorrell.


First Place Winner: Jannell McConnell Parsons, English, "Centering Student Agency: Target Public Audiences and Oral Histories in Appalachia"



Second Place Winner: Sarah Butterbaugh, Family Sciences, "Memes and Theory: Bringing Theory into Context"


Third Place Winner: Luc Dunoyer, Biology, "Increasing Critical Thinking by Teaching Ecology"



2019 Finalists

First Place: Jannell McConnell Parsons, English, "Centering Student Agency: Target Public Audiences and Oral Histories in Appalachia

Second Place: Sarah Butterbaugh, Family Sciences, "Memes and Theory: Bringing Theory into Context"

Third Place: Luc Dunoyer, Biology, "Increasing Critical Thinking by Teaching Ecology

People's Choice: Kanthi Nuti, Chemistry, "Play of Molecular Isomers in Chemistry

Kayla Bohannon, Philosophy, "Reworking the Lecture: A Conversational Approach to the Classroom"

Jonghee Lee Caldararo, Geography, "Teaching that Teaches You the True Pleasure of Learning"

Corinne Gressang, History, "Training Historians: Skills-based Learning"

Hayley Hoffman, Communication, "How to Watch TV Like a Professor"

Kathryn Kohls,  English, "Meme Gif, and Hashtag Rhetoric: Critical Communication through Social Media Genres"

Francisco Luque, Hispanic Studies, "Teaching Spanish with the Multiple Intelligences"

Malinda "Lindy" Massey, German Studies and Teaching World Languages, "Teaching with Memory in Mind: Effectively Honoring Working Memory in the L2 Classroom"

Kateri Kate Miller, Music, "Learn by DOing"

Andrew Welleford, Anatomy and Neurobiology, "Applying the Science of Learning in the Classroom and Doing Science of Your Own!"

Yunzhe Zhu, Agricultural Economics, "Teaching your Students? No, Entertain Them!: How to Improve Attendance of an Evening Class"