As a graduate student, i've had to substitute teach a number of times for a variety of classes. I'm wondering if it is really worth while to add this information into my CV. Obviously, it won't hold as much weight as teaching a full class. But if it is worth mentioning on the CV, what category should I add it to? Teaching? Volunteer Service? Something else?

3 Answers 3


I am going to disagree with Peter Jansson here.

If you mean you stepped in to cover a couple of classes here and there when the regular instructor was sick or out of town, I would say this by itself doesn't constitute a meaningful amount of teaching experience for professional purposes, and shouldn't be listed on a CV. It may have been valuable to you, but I think it would look kind of silly on a CV.

If you were assigned as a teaching assistant for the course, you probably have a line where you describe your responsibilities in that role (grading exams, holding office hours, etc), and you could add "occasional lectures" to that line.

If you filled in for an instructor for a longer period of time, then you could consider listing it ("taught 3 weeks of Calculus 4").


Definitely. Teaching experience is always worth adding to the cv because it reflects that you have gained experience in presentation techniques beyond the usual scientific presentations. The difference to research presentations lies in that the latter involves explaining matters and making material understandable at a more basic level. On its own, such experiences may not be enough so document your teaching experience such as levels of the courses, number of students and amount of teaching. you should also gather evaluations of your efforts. I could add links on teaching portfolios here but a simple search on "teaching portfolio" will give you quite a lot of examples and your own university might also have links worth loking at.

  • I'm not sure this really addresses the situation at hand. A grad student who fills in for an instructor for a couple of lectures is not going to have evaluations, etc, and I can't see turning this into a "portfolio". Nov 11, 2013 at 21:55
  • There is always a first step on a journey. It is always good to keep track of all the teaching (or other activities that may be added to a CV) one has performed. Later in the career one can perhaps be more selective. To look into how to build a portfolio is never a bad idea. Nov 11, 2013 at 22:13
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    +1. And don't just say you "substituted" for someone, use verbs to describe what you did: delivered a 45-min lecture on whatever to 25 graduate students, conducted a computer lab session on whatever topic, etc. Just "substitute" sounds too passive. And these experiences should be under the teaching section. As you get better experiences, you may consider revising these substitute gigs out. Nov 11, 2013 at 23:30

I agree with Peter Jasson. It's worth mentioning in your CV unless you already have quite a bit teaching experience. You should put it under "Teaching".

You're a graduate student. Anything meaningful should be listed in the CV. Many years later, you'll find the substitute teaching looks funny when you're a professor. For now, list it unless you already have more than 2 pages long CV.

Here is my personal experience. I put my number of years teaching experience in my resume while in industry. A lot people were interested in that. It's was one of the most frequently asked questions in my industry job interviews I had. One time, I did ask the hiring manager why he was interested to know. He said it shows that I do know how to communicate.

  • In my case, I've already got 4 years of full time university level teaching experience prior to my current PhD pursuit. Although, a lot of the classes I taught were very low level classes like precalculus, calculus, etc. In contrast, my substitute teaching was for much more advanced (graduate level) courses. I just wonder if including this info on my CV would look, as you say, "funny" because of my previous experience.
    – Paul
    Nov 12, 2013 at 14:29
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    @Paul Your case falls into unless you already have quite a bit teaching experience category. Four(4) years of university level teaching is quite a bit. My answer is intended for graduate students in general. Most of them don't have that much extensive experience. So, yes, it does look a little bit funny if the substitue teaching was short. It's up to you.
    – Nobody
    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:53

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