Professor Su writes, “... grace-filled relationships are the foundation for good teaching in that “grace gives you freedom to explore, freedom to fail ..."
CELT Teaching Tip • November 15, 2018
An opportunity to give thanks
Showing thanks through the lesson of grace in teaching
Recently, a colleague shared, "The lesson of grace in teaching: From weakness to wholeness, the struggle and the hope" blog post with me. This inspiring talk was written by Francis Edward Su (Professor, Harvey Mudd College) upon receipt of the Mathematical Association of America's Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award.

Professor Su writes, “… good instructional techniques are necessary for good teaching. But they are not sufficient. They are not the foundation.” He elaborates that instead, grace-filled relationships are the foundation for good teaching in that “grace gives you freedom to explore, freedom to fail, freedom to let students take control of their own learning, freedom to affirm the struggling student by your own weakness.”

Professor Su provides a number of excellent ways to ensure grace is the foundation of teaching by learning students’ names, providing opportunities for students to make connections with the material, and sharing with students something of ourselves, whether it is the struggles that we have faced in our academic careers or taking an interest in their lives.

Professor Su closes his talk with, "... And not only will grace inspire our students, it will inspire us. Just like my students, the moments I remember best from my own teaching are the grace-filled moments I have shared with my students and colleagues and former teachers, many of whom are here today. I want to thank them, because I didn’t deserve those blessed moments. But they gave them to me anyway."

Who makes you feel like a valued member of the ISU community?
This fall, CELT partnered with ISU Learning Communities, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Student Government to initiate #CyThx. Before November 30, students are encouraged to answer, Who makes you feel like a valued member of the ISU community? via our #CyThx at ISU online submission web form .

While the program was designed for undergraduate and graduate students to recognize faculty members, graduate teaching assistants, peer mentors, and advisors, feel free to take the time to recognize and acknowledge the work of one of your mentors or colleagues at Iowa State University. Prior to December 21, 2018, your valued member of the ISU community will receive a #CyThx email along with your optional message and recognition on our #CyThx website . In addition, campus leadership will receive notification of who received a #CyThx.
With thanks to your teaching efforts,  

Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Share your #CyThx via the CyThx at Iowa State University website or through the #CyThx at ISU online submission web form .
decorative bar
graduate students talking to eachother
Spring Semester Teaching Assistant (TA) Seminar
All TAs who are new to the ISU classroom, or who have received a teaching assignment different from what they have done before, are strongly encouraged to attend this seminar on Friday, January 11, 2019 (10 a.m.- Noon). Discussion will focus on topics such as classroom management, effective grading, and preparing for the first day of class. Ideas for specific types of teaching, time management, and working with students will also be shared. R egister via the Learn@ISU website or email
Inclusion Initiatives & Advancing One Community Awards
Martin Luther King, Jr. Advancing One Community Award (Due on Dec. 1)
Saturday, December 1 is the deadline to nominate ISU students, faculty, staff, and campus organizations for recognition and $500 stipend. The Advancing One Community Award recognize recipients' efforts to create an inclusive university community that embraces justice and equity. Awards are presented annually in January as part of the university's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Learn more from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advancing One Community Award website. Questions? email

Inclusion Initiatives Grant Program (Intent due on Nov. 30)
Friday, November 30 is the deadline for faculty and staff to submit an intent to apply for up to $5,000 in funding. The intent is a short, online form that asks for a brief description of your idea, an estimated total budget, and information for the potential team members on the project. The intent is not binding, but in order to submit a proposal in March, you must submit your intent in November. Submit your intent via the Inclusion Initiatives Grant Program website. Questions? email

University Award for Inclusive Excellence (Due on Feb. 10)
February 10, 2019 is the deadline to nominate ISU faculty and staff for recognition and $1500 stipend. Iowa State University's first-ever university-level inclusion award recognizes faculty and P&S staff who have advanced the university’s mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion outside of their compensated responsibilities. More details on the University Award for Inclusive Excellence website.
Upcoming CELT programs
To learn more about the events listed below visit CELT’s Event and Registration website and register via the Learn@ISU website. Many of these workshops are available in-person and/or via Zoom, virtual web-conferencing.

  • Meeting, ISU Online Learning Community (ISU-OLC), Nov. 16 (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Dec. 13 (11:30-1 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Discuss Published Education Research in Your Discipline, Nov. 27 (12:10-1 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Documenting Your Teaching using the DART Matrix, Nov. 27 (2:10-3 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Turning your scholarly teaching into Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, (SoTL), Dec. 6 (12:10-1:30 p.m.)

Teaching Inclusively
  • Conversation, Top 10 tips for creating an accessible course, Nov. 27 (4-5 p.m.)
  • Inclusive Classroom Workshop, Nov. 30 (9 a.m.-Noon)

Quality Matters
  • Meeting, Quality Matters Learning Community, Nov. 16 (3-4:30 p.m.)
  • Quality Matters: Improving Your Online Course (IYOC), Nov. 19 (8 a.m.-Noon) and IYOC Follow Up, Nov. 19 (1–3 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop, Dec. 3 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • Meeting, Quality Matters Learning Community, Dec. 13 (3-4:30 p.m.)

Building & Managing Your Course in Canvas Workshop Series
Building Your Course in Canvas Series
  • Course Design Basics, Dec. 4 (3-4:30 p.m.)
  • Assignments and Quizzes, Dec. 5 (3-4:30 p.m.)
  • Grading and Student Data in Canvas, Dec. 6 (9-10:30 a.m.)
Manage Your Canvas Course Series
  • Group Work and Collaboration, Dec. 11 (3-4:30 p.m.)
  • Rubrics and Outcomes, Dec. 13 (1-2:30 p.m.)
  • Personalized Learning and Mastery Paths, Nov. 9 (9-11 a.m.), Nov. 14 (3-4:30 p.m.)
Prefer a Print version? To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with the web addresses, download the CELT November 15 Teaching Tip (PDF) ( )