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Excellence in Teaching Awards

Do you know a great TA or Professor teaching in the Faculty of Science?

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?

Faculty, would you like to see a great TA or fellow professor nominated?

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

NOMINATION DEADLINE: Monday, November 1 at 4:30pm

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

Nominations

Can be trigged in one of two ways:

  1. The first is for Faculty, and for TA’s with substantial student contact, such as lab demonstrators or tutorial leaders. A nomination is triggered by the accumulation of at least 5 letters of support from students gathered over a 4 year period. Faculty and/or TA’s may encourage or coordinate students to submit letters for a nomination. TA’s may write letters of support, but they must be in addition to student letters, not replacing them. All nomination documents need to be submitted to the MachForms available on the CoTL Teaching Awards website.

  1. The second is for TA’s who do not have substantial direct student contact, such as TA Coordinators and Marker/Graders. A faculty member familiar with the nominee’s undergraduate teaching contributions can nominate a TA. All nomination documents need to be submitted to the MachForms available on the CoTL Teaching Awards website.

Packages

Complete packages for Faculty, and for TA's with substantial student contact, must containing the following (full details provided below):

  1. A minimum of 5 unique student letters submitted within 4 years
  2. A minimum of 1 and a maximum of 2 Faculty reference letters
  3. The nominee's current CV
  4. A Teaching Statement by the nominee

Complete packages for TA's who do not have substantial student contact contain the following (full details provided below):

  1. A minimum of 1 and a maximum of 2 Faculty nomination/reference letters
  2. The nominee's current CV
  3. A Teaching statement by the nominee

Faculty, and TA's with Substantial Student Contact

Students who have been taught by the nominee (and not only supervised) submit a letter of support for a TA and/or an instructor of choice through the provided MachForms via the CoTL Teaching Awards website. Letters should describe and provide evidence for teaching excellence, addressing (without being restricted to) the criteria listed in the Awards and Criteria section above. Letters will be kept for four years.

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

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.*

If coordinating the nomination of a Faculty, or a TA with substantial direct interaction with students, such as a Lab Demonstrator, the faculty member must:

  • Coordinate the submission of at  least FIVE UNIQUE 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. In the case of instructors, TA’s may write letters of support, but they must be in addition to student letters, not replacing them.
  • Coordinate referral letters from a maximum of two York faculty members familiar with the nominee’s undergraduate teaching. Coordinating Faculty may submit a referral letter. The letters should have been prepared within the four years preceding the nomination.
  • Have the nominee submit a current CV (up to 5 pages) prepared by the nominee.
  • Have the nominee submit a Teaching Statement (teaching philosophy, maximum 1000 words) prepared by the nominee.

NOTE: *Letters cannot be submitted by students who are currently being taught/supervised by the instructor/TA.*

NOTE: *Student letters, faculty letters, and the nominee’s CV and Teaching Statement should be submitted to the appropriate MachForms on the CoTL website.*

TA's Without Substantial Student Contact

If the Faculty is nominating a TA with little to no direct interaction with students, such as a TA Coordinator or Marker/Grader, the nominating faculty member must:

  • Submit a nomination letter. The nominating faculty may coordinate a referral letter from a second York faculty member or from other TA’s familiar with the nominee’s undergraduate teaching. The letters should have been prepared within the four years preceding the nomination.
  • Have the nominee submit a current CV (up to 5 pages) prepared by the nominee.
  • Have the nominee submit a Teaching Statement (teaching philosophy, maximum 1000 words) prepared by the nominee.

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

Alumni! Nominate by contacting the Chair.


TA Teaching Award

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


Faculty Member Award

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