Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Our Community Values

Embracing Difference, Respecting Failure, Growing Together

Our three-part mantra is both a pledge and a motivator. This shared philosophy prioritizes individuals over their work and reminds us how our interactions shape our culture. Each part of the mantra is followed by a statement that defines our common understanding of that value. The questions that follow prompt each colleague to reflect on their individual responsibility for upholding our community values.

Embracing Difference

We seek contributions from people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, identities, and expertise, recognizing that difference fosters creativity and innovation, and that each person’s perspective is a strength to be respected and valued.

  • How do I invite, actively listen to, and incorporate the ideas of others in my conversations and work?
  • How do I contribute to the balance between moving toward consensus and considering alternative viewpoints?
  • What strategies do I use to be respectful when others’ attitudes and behaviors differ from my own values?
  • How do I anticipate difference as the norm and work accordingly?

Respecting Failure

We acknowledge that we cannot do our best work without taking risks, including the risk of failure, and we support one another in learning from our failures as much as successes.

  • Where in my work do I make time to reflect and receive feedback?
  • When have I experienced failure in my work, how have I responded, and how have those challenges shaped my subsequent work?
  • How do I invite colleagues in, to reflect on and learn from unexpected or disappointing outcomes, rather than calling them out for errors?
  • How do I contribute to a work environment conducive to taking risks?

Growing Together

We care for each other as professionals and human beings, and we believe our Center is strongest and our culture healthiest when we support both individual and team growth.

  • How do I create opportunities for my colleagues to grow? How do I advocate for my own professional growth?
  • How do I see my colleagues as people first, and strive to be generous and compassionate in my interactions?
  • What obstacles to growing together have I encountered in the workplace, and how have I responded to them?
  • How do I invite colleagues to incorporate their unique interests and passions into their work selves?

We recognize that, as individuals and as a Center, we will not always live up to our values. We affirm that striving to live out these values in our work means acknowledging when we fall short, and supporting one another in the process.