Teaching Philosophy in Practice

UK GradTeach Live!, modeled after the Three-Minute Thesis competition (3MT), recognizes the importance of teaching at UK by celebrating and showcasing the central role graduate teaching assistants have in the university’s instructional mission. We invite you, as a current or former graduate teaching assistant, to showcase your teaching philosophy and instructional skills to the university community. This is an excellent opportunity to practice talking about your teaching engagingly for job interviews and to rehearse for teaching demonstrations. The central challenge is to do so in a way that engages and holds the attention of your audience just as you engage your students. You will have 3 minutes and 1 slide to engage the audience in your pedagogical grounding/teaching philosophy and present a concrete example of what that philosophy looks like in the in-person, virtual, or hybrid classroom or lab.


Monetary prizes, totaling over $1,700, are sponsored by The Graduate Student Congress and will be awarded to the first place, second place, third place, and people’s choice award winners!

  • First Place: $750

  • Second Place: $500

  • Third Place: $250

  • People's Choice: $250

Rules & 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.

  • Participants must focus their presentation on teaching in a classroom or lab at the college level

  • One static presentation slide is allowed. (No slide animation, sound, or video is permitted.)

  • 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.

Registration, Dates, & Deadlines

Registration: Registration has closed, but even if you did not register, you can still submit a video via the submission link below!

Preparatory Workshop via Zoom: Communicating Your Teaching Philosophy
The virtual workshop linked below was held for all who registered their intent to participate. The workshop provided more information on GradTeach Live!, including tips and guidelines for crafting and giving your presentation. Feel free to watch the recording below if you were not able to attend.

Entry Submission: You do not have to be registered to submit, but please provide all of your information with your submission so we can contact you.

UK GradTeach Live! In-Person Finals: Participants with the top submissions will be asked to present these live in-person at a showcase and final event. The event will feature people’s choice voting and an announcement of winners.

This Year's Competitors

Back Row (left to right): Katherine Kohls, Ray Celeste Tanner, Daria Goncharova, Pasquale Succi, Eleanor Hudd, and Eric Luteyn

Front Row (left to right): Jovita Ogechi Daraezinwa, Rujeko Machinga, Amanda Slone, and Lukas Bullock

This Year's Winners

Left to Right: Jovita Ogechi Daraezinwa, Ray Celeste Tanner, and Daria Goncharova

  • First Place Winner: Daria Goncharova, "Dream Teams: Teaching Effective Communication Through Group Contract and Reflection"

  • Second Place Winner: Ray Celeste Tanner, "A Question a Day"

  • Third Place & People's Choice Winner: Jovita Ogechi Daraezinwa, "Leading with the Human Element in Chemistry Labs"


First Place Winner: Daria Goncharova, English, "Dream Teams: Teaching Effective Communication Through Group Contract and Reflection"

Second Place Winner: Ray Celeste Tanner, Communication, "A Question a Day"

Third Place & People's Choice Winner: Jovita Ogechi Darazinwa, Chemistry, "Leading with the Human Element in Chemistry Labs"


First Place Winner: Rasheed Flowers, Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, "Creating Leaders in the Field of Sports Management"

Second Place Winner: Erica Jacquay, Veterinary Science, "Peer Mentors: Student-Led Learning in Introductory Equine Classes"

Third Place Winner: Megan Buland, Forestry and Natural Resources, "Building a Bridge: Emphasizing Conceptual Learning and Creativity in the Ecological Sciences"

People's Choice Winner: Jack Swab, Geography, "Questioning Assumptions, Creating Community"


First Place Winner: Kelly Grenier, Political Science, "Teaching Politics Through Art"

Second Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Cassy Jane Werking, History, "Our History Together Starts Here: Grounding the Teaching of American History in Local Lexington History"

Third Place Winner: Priya Karna, Chemistry, "Revolving Physical Chemistry Around Real-Life Applications"


Competition cancelled due to COVID-19.


Note: The rules of the original GradTeach Live! allowed presenters up to 5 minutes and 3 slides. Audience feedback led us to switch subsequent competitions to 3 minutes and 1 slide.

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"

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