L&S Teaching Mentors Program

To be named an L&S Teaching Mentor (formerly Teaching Fellow) is an honor granted to TAs from the College of Letters & Science who have achieved outstanding success as students and teachers. Teaching Mentors serve as instructors at the L&S Fall TA Training, which takes place at the start of the fall semester and welcomes ~400 new and experienced TAs from across campus. This document contains information about the Teaching Mentors program, including nomination materials and procedures.

The deadline to make 2021-2022 L&S Teaching Mentor nominations has passed. Please check back for 2022-2023 information in Winter 2023.

General Information

There are 15 winners per year, and each Mentor receives $1000 as a Project Assistant appointment. Nominees do not need to be currently teaching, but ideal candidates are those who have taught successfully in the department, who convey enthusiasm for teaching, and who will serve as good role models for new and inexperienced TAs. Nominees should be:

  • Passionate Teachers: they should have a love of learning and helping students learn. They should demonstrate sustained commitment to implementing effective, learner-centered, and innovative teaching methods. 
  • Effective Teachers of Teachers: they should have a proven track record of supporting, training, and helping other TAs.
  • Excellent Facilitators: they should know how to effectively guide learning through thoughtful questioning, rapport building, and active listening. 
  • Effective Communicators: they should be attentive, timely, empathetic, and thoughtful in their communications with others.


Nomination Process

Nomination Form

The nomination form includes the following questions:

  • Are you able to certify the nominee is currently making satisfactory progress (according to their home department guidelines)?
  • Are you able to certify that the nominee has the endorsement of the Department Chair or their designee?
  • Nominee information:
    • What is the nominee’s first name?
    • What is the nominee’s last name?
    • What is the nominee’s Wisc email address?
    • What is the nominee’s campus address?
  • Nominator information:
    • What is your first name?
    • What is your last name?
    • What is your title/position on campus?
    • What is your Wisc email address?
  • Upload supplemental materials


PDF of Supplemental Materials - These materials must be submitted as one PDF compiled in the following order: 

  1. Letter of Recommendation from faculty/staff member(s) (3pg. max) 
    • Only one letter is allowed but it may be co-written or signed by multiple writers. 
    • The Letter of Recommendation should speak to the nominee’s excellence in the classroom, experience training or helping other teachers, commitment to improving their own and other’s teaching, and their passion, dedication, or unique approach to teaching. Letters of Recommendation that include specific examples of these qualities will be looked on more favorably.
  2. Nominee guided reflection (2pg. max) 
    1. Describe a time you failed in the classroom and what actions you took to improve your teaching afterwards. How did those actions impact your students’ learning experience? OR
    2. Describe a time you helped someone else (or a group of others) improve their teaching. 
    • Please respond to one of the following prompts in your reflection. Make sure to provide evidence (e.g. specific examples, student reports, anecdotal evidence, improved performance on assignments, etc.) of how your changes benefited student learning. Honest reflections that directly address the chosen prompt will be looked on favorably.
  3. Additional evidence of mentorship potential. This can take many forms; below are several examples of excellent submission ideas. Specific examples will be looked on favorably. (2pg. max) 
    • Descriptions of experience(s) you’ve had that are crucial to the way you think about and engage in your teaching.
    • Descriptions or examples of pedagogical activities, such as creation of novel course materials or engagement in communities focused on pedagogy, inclusive teaching, or teacher training. 
    • Descriptions or accounts of the nominee’s contributions to the departmental teaching mission, such as leadership, support, awareness, or attitude as related to teaching.


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