Training Fellow TAs Overview
You've probably discoverd that when you TA a subject, you learn the material you teach even better. The same is true for teaching about teaching, so if you're looking for ways to advance your own teaching knowledge, why not share with others? There are many ways you can help contribute to TA training resources right in your own department.
TA Resources Within Your Department
Because you know what types of support might be most beneficial to the other TA's in your department, you might have some great ideas for new or improved resources that should be included. Here are some ideas that other departments have found helpful:
- Orientation/training seminars at the beginning of the year or quarter for new TAs
- A pedagogy course or opportunities for ongoing discussion with peers and faculty during the first year of teaching
- Opportunities for TAs to be mentored by faculty or peers
- Become a MinT (Mentor In Teaching) - gain training and support to help mentor TA's within your department
- Opportunities for practice or simulated teaching (microteaching)
- A midterm or formative TA evaluation, as well as an end-of-term or summative TA evaluation process
- An archive system for TA training materials and courses. Example: TA wiki in the Philosophy Department
- Examples of Department Teaching Handbooks and other resources
- Professional development opportunities
- Partnering with VPTL staff to Create Departmental Workshops
Finding Support and Funding
While some initiatives might not require much support, others must be approved by your department and may even require some additional funding.
If you are in need of a small (<$3000) grant to jump start a new project, then you should definitely check out VPTL's TA Training Grant program. Grants are generally due in June of each year, but can be accepted on a rolling basis as well if funding allows, so don't hesistate to ask.
Contributing to Training Campus-Wide
As you gain experience, you might also consider getting involved at the campus-wide level. There are many ways to help provide support to your fellow TA's around campus:
- Become a VPTL Liaison: Help connect your deparment with VPTL
- Become a Speaking or Writing Tutor: Help students improve their public speaking and writing skills
- Became a VPTL Consultant: Run midquarter student feedback discussions and provide feedback to fellow TA's around campus
- Give a talk at Eat.Talk.Teach.Run!: Give a quick talk for an audience of grad students in a one-hour session