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Excellence in Teaching Awards

Students,

Do you have a Professor or TA in the Faculty of Science that was a great teacher and made an outstanding contribution to teaching and learning? Maybe it was someone who took the time to explain, helped you learn how to learn, expanded your ability to think critically?

If so, nominate your instructor for a Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award. You can also nominate your TA for a Richard Jarrell Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate Level Award.

Award Categories

  • Senior Tenure-Stream Faculty (>7 years of Undergraduate teaching experience at York as a full-time faculty member; maximum of 2 awarded annually)
  • Junior Tenure-Stream Faculty (≤7 years of Undergraduate teaching experience at York as a full-time faculty member; maximum of 2 awarded annually)
  • Non-Tenure Faculty (includes contract/sessional faculty and contractually limited appointments [CLAs]; maximum of 2 awarded annually)
  • Teaching Assistants – the Richard Jarrell Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate Level Award (any graduate student or senior undergraduate working as a teaching assistant in FSc [e.g., lab demonstrator, marker/grader, tutorial leader, TA coordinator], including students from other Faculties; maximum of 2 awarded annually)

Criteria

The nominee should have demonstrated continuous excellence, which may include one or all of the following (note this list is not exhaustive):

  • responds to diverse student experiences;
  • fosters intellectual growth;
  • supports the development of new insights;
  • deepens critical thinking;
  • communicates passion for the subject matter;
  • nurtures the creation of new knowledge;
  • responds to different needs of students;
  • inspires student learning;
  • uses creative forms to engage students;
  • contributes to the transformation of curriculum and teaching/learning practises on campus and beyond, both within and outside of classrooms;
  • works collaboratively with colleagues to enrich teaching practises
  • supports the development of teaching/learning capacities of graduate and/or undergraduate students;
  • nurtures the intellectual and scholarly growth of students from diverse backgrounds.

Award Process

Nomination packages can be prepared in one of two ways. The first being a package is triggered by the accumulation of at least five letters of support from students gathered over a four-year period. TA’s may write letters of support, but they must be in addition to student letters, not replacing them. The second is a faculty member familiar with the nominee’s undergraduate teaching can submit a full package on behalf of the nominee. All nomination documents need to be submitted to the MachForm available on the CoTL Teaching Awards website.

Students – write a letter!

Students who have been taught by the nominee (and not only supervised) submit a letter of support for TA and/or instructor of choice. Letters should describe and provide evidence for teaching excellence, addressing (without being restricted to) the criteria listed above and below. Letters will be kept for four years.

Once a minimum of five letters have been collected over a four year period, this triggers the formation of a nomination package. The chair of CoTL will contact the nominated TAs/instructors to inform them of nomination and allow for package preparation. The full package is described below.

NOTE: *Students may not write a letter for someone who is currently teaching and/or supervising them.*

NOTE: Students are encouraged to motivate other students to write letters so that the nomination may proceed.

NOTE: TA’s may write letters in support of a fellow TA or a Faculty nomination. However, these letters will be included in addition to the five required student letters, rather than replacing them.


Submit a complete nomination

To submit a complete nomination package the nominating faculty member must include:

  • At least FIVE letters from York students/alumni (undergraduate or graduate) who have been taught by the nominee but are neither currently enrolled in courses taught by the nominee, nor being supervised by the nominee (i.e., where nominee is TA Coordinator). The letters should have been prepared within the four years preceding the nomination.
  • A maximum of two York faculty members familiar with the nominee’s undergraduate teaching. The letters should have been prepared within the four years preceding the nomination.
  • A current CV (up to 5 pages) prepared by the nominee.
  • A Teaching Statement (teaching philosophy, maximum 1000 words) prepared by the nominee.

NOTE: A winner in any category is not eligible for the same award in the same category within any seven year period.

The Faculty of Science Committee on Teaching and Learning, or a designated subcommittee of CoTL, will review nominations. Please note there is the possibility that no prizes be awarded should the committee see fit. Should none of the nomination packages warrant an award, no package will be selected.

Recipients of the award will receive a plaque or certificate of recognition and a gift of appreciation from the Dean.

Both TA and Instructor candidate packages that are not awarded will automatically remain active for consideration the following year. CoTL will not preclude any material being added to the package in the second year. This includes additional letters of support, and/or updated files found in the package. Following the two-year period, the nomination expires and the minimum number of student letters must be submitted to trigger a new file.



Submit a Nomination


TA Teaching Award

The Richard Jarrell Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate Level Award.


Faculty Member Award

Nominate your instructor for a Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award.