Costanzo Teaching Fellows

Frequently Asked Questions

The Costanzo Fellowship is a unique opportunity for rising seniors and juniors to receive substantial training in teaching as part of the teaching team for Introductory Psychology (PSY 101). Teaching Fellows are paid and are also required to enroll in a 1-credit Psychology Teaching Seminar (that counts toward the Psychology major) during the fall term. (Please note that Dukehub sometimes may list the seminar as 3 credits because it is 600-level, which means graduate students can take it for 3 credits–their credit system works differently. It is  1 credit for undergrads.)


What would my paid responsibilities be?

Costanzo Teaching Fellows (TFs) are paid for 10-15 hours of teaching responsibilities per week, on average. Their teaching responsibilities include:

  • Teach 2 sections per week in the Fall (one co-taught with another TF, one taught solo), and 1 or 2 solo sections per week in the Spring. All TFs teach in the Fall, and most also teach in the Spring. In the fall, co-taught sections will be held Tuesday afternoons. Solo sections will be held on Wednesdays.

  • Attend every lecture (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:45 to 1:00). Note: Because Fall registration is happening so late, Fall TFs are not required to attend in-person lecture if they have a class conflict and would watch lecture video recordings instead. 

  • Attend their own 2 office hours (you would determine these).

  • Proctor exams: Exams are held during the regular lecture timeslot.

  • Grade papers and participation: TFs are responsible for grading four phases of the Research and Writing project for the students in their solo section and half the students in their co-taught section. They also assign participation grades. It is important that they keep accurate records of all of their grades.

  • Grade exams: The teaching team grades short answers/essays as a group following each exam (Thursdays from 1:00 to 5). All TFs are expected to help grade all 3 exams unless they have a class or final exam during that time.

What kind of training would I receive?

  • A mandatory, paid orientation will be held on the Saturday before the start of Fall classes and will cover the fundamentals of lesson planning and mentoring students.

  • The weekly teaching seminar (601S) held fall semester (taken for credit) provides ongoing training and support as the TFs teach for the first time. The seminar will be held on Mondays from 10:05-12:35) This seminar focuses on issues such as teaching strategies, classroom management, and ethical issues relevant to teaching. In the seminar, the Teaching Fellows: 

    • Read 1-2 articles/essays on teaching each week and participate in a weekly discussion.

    • Write a weekly, 1-page teaching journal.

    • Observe themselves on video and writing a self-evaluation of their teaching.

    • Observe another TF teach and write an evaluation of their teaching.

    • Demonstrate an existing sample lesson plan to their peers to prepare them for upcoming teaching.

    • Design their own new lesson plan with feedback from their peers.

    • Write a final reflection on what they’ve learned from teaching that serves their future goals.

Will Teaching Fellows be teaching in-person next year?

Duke has not yet made final decisions about the class formats for the fall semester, but we are optimistic of a return to in-person classroom teaching (this past year sections were offered both in-person and online). This past year we did find that there are many benefits to learning to teach over Zoom and TFs should be prepared for the possibility of online teaching.

How do TFs know what to teach in a discussion section?

  • The course instructor designates particular topics to be covered in discussion sections each week. The Psych 101 teaching team has a Wiki that contains numerous teaching resources, including sample lesson plans for each week, activities, video clips, discussion questions, and articles on teaching. TFs receive a lot of resources but have flexibility to tailor lesson plans to their strengths and students’ needs.


What are you looking for in a Teaching Fellow?

Applicants with the following characteristics are preferred:

  • Rising senior or junior status

  • A strong interest in developing teaching, leadership, or mentorship abilities.

  • Significant psychology coursework (being a psychology major is not required).

  • Strong knowledge of research methods.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage responsibility

Ready to apply?