Postdoc Teaching Opportunities Program (PTOP)

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Know of any teaching opportunities? Please contact us!

If you know of any teaching opportunities that might interest postdocs, please contact Natalia Caporale at ptop@socrates.berkeley.edu

Mission

The Postdoc Teaching Opportunities Program (PTOP) will allow UC Berkeley postdocs across all disciplines to acquire experience and expertise in teaching college level courses at community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and universities in the Bay Area.

Background

Teaching experience is an increasingly important aspect of obtaining tenure-track and faculty positions in higher education. However, it is difficult for postdoctoral fellows to obtain this experience, especially compared to graduate student instructors (GSIs). At UC Berkeley, there is currently no program that specifically assists postdocs that wish to gain experience in teaching college level courses. In addition, there is a lack of transparency regarding the rules and regulations of postdoc teaching positions. The PTOP program aims to address these issues and improve teaching opportunities for postdocs at UC Berkeley.

Program Goals

  1. The program will establish connections with local community colleges, liberal arts colleges universities, and departments at UC Berkeley to create a database of part-time teaching opportunities that UC Berkeley postdocs can apply to. The PTOP committee aims to be the direct contact for educators to reach out to when an immediate teaching opportunity arises.
  2. The program will create and maintain an email list of postdocs with interest in teaching opportunities so that new offerings can be communicated to the community as soon as they arise.
  3. The program will identify and promote fellowships that aim to foster teaching experience.
  4. The PTOP will establish relationships with various UC Berkeley teaching resource centers to develop courses and workshops in pedagogy and course development tailored to the postdoc community.
  5. The PTOP will explore the possibility of providing postdocs with a formal certificate in teaching, such as the one currently offered by the GSI Teaching and Resource Center to graduate students on campus.
  6. Finally, the PTOP will establish a mentoring program where postdocs will be paired with a faculty member, experienced teaching postdoc, or lecturer to co-teach a course or give a few guest lectures in a college level course.

Benefits For Postdocs

Postdocs will gain:

  1. An opportunity to gain experience in college teaching, which can play a key role in applications to Faculty positions.
  2. Exposure to the various aspects of college teaching, providing perspective on possible career paths.
  3. A chance to network with lecturers and faculty at UC Berkeley and other local community colleges, liberal arts colleges and universities.

Benefits For Universities and Community Colleges

Schools will gain the ability:

  1. To identify qualified, interested instructors that can serve as part-time lecturers as there is a growing demand for lecturers across all universities and this program would fulfill some of this need.
  2. To identify possible faculty candidates that will already have a connection to the campus.

PTOP Community Members

  • Natalia Caporale (committee chair), Lecturer, MCB and IB, ptop@socrates.berkeley.edu
  • Sam Castaneda, Director, VSPA Program
  • Dermot Donnelly, BPA President, School of Education
  • Admir Skodo, Visiting Scholar, History
  • Isabell Stamm, Postdoc, Sociology