Center for Teaching and Learning

As part of a UW Resilience Lab Seed Grant, the Center for Teaching & Learning is exploring how resilience frameworks and strategies can support the culture of teaching at UW.

Building resilience in teaching at UW

Have you had a challenging teaching experience that left you unsettled or made you question yourself and your competence? Who hasn’t! To help teachers develop resilience practices and strategies, we’re collecting stories of these teaching experiences, as well as reflections on how you worked with and through these challenges.

Sharing stories of resilience can not only help others learn from your experiences but contribute to a community of resilience at UW—shifting our discourse around teaching from course evaluation scores to practices that affect us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and individually based on our social positions within systems of power. Read more about the background for this project.

Sharing a teaching resilience story can help you:Tree shaped word cloud of resilience related terms.

  • Reflect on and learn from the experience
  • Articulate coping strategies you can use in future challenging situations
  • Build hope and community around your work
  • Reaffirm your teaching values and practices
  • Promote social change across contexts
  • Center your personal experience as a form of knowledge
  • Connect with and teach other instructors

To this end, we encourage you to submit a story of resilience in your teaching. We appreciate the vulnerability involved in writing and sharing your stories, particularly for a public website. Please know that the CTL Teaching Resilience Team will review your stories with empathy.


Part I:

Share a story (5,000 characters or less) of a teaching-related experience in which you faced a challenge, learned from the challenge, and grew as a result.

Tell a story that includes answers to the following questions:

  • Background/setting:
    • What were you teaching?
    • What was the challenging situation?
    • How did your positionality impact the situation?
  • Description:
    • What did you feel or how did you react?
    • What did you lose? What was at stake?
    • How were you able to navigate through this challenge?
    • What impact did this have on your teaching and interaction with students and/or peers, colleagues, etc?
    • What was the outcome?
    • What changes to your teaching have you made as a result of the experience?
  • Reflection:
    • What did you (and any others involved) learn about your teaching values and practices?
    • What was your reflection process?
    • How and to what extent did you show compassion to yourself?

Part II:

  • What advice would you offer, based on your story?
  • What are the takeaways that other instructors might learn from your experience, recognizing that your positionality and teaching context is likely different from theirs?

Submit your story

  1. Paste your story into our WebQ submission form (see the link below).
    Note: Although we ask for your name and contact information in the submission form, you will have the option to share your story anonymously.
  2. Your submission will be reviewed to make sure it responds to the prompts and character limits listed above. If it does, we’ll publish it on our website.
    *The first ten people who share a story that we publish will receive a small CTL resilience gift.


Thank you for helping to build a community of resilience for UW instructors!

We may reach out to ask if you are interested in having your story become part of our podcast series. The series will offer an opportunity to go more in depth about your teaching experience, reflections, and advice.

Questions? Contact