Conference for new TAs
UD sets conference for newly appointed graduate teaching assistants Aug. 21
4:03 p.m., Aug. 10, 2012--The University of Delaware’s annual conference for graduate teaching assistants (TAs) will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the Trabant University Center and Gore Hall, starting with a breakfast buffet with seating by academic programs.
The event introduces newly appointed TAs to their instructional roles, raises awareness of expectations of UD students, models effective teaching practices, facilitates peer mentoring and networking, and offers instructional resources.
A hospitable job market
The conference is part of an orientation series for new graduate students co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education and the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning (CTAL), an office that provides consultations, programs and resources to UD’s teaching community.
The conference kicks off a series of instructional development events for TAs continuing with pedagogy sessions during the fall semester and concluding with a teaching conference to be held Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, at the Clayton Hall conference Ccenter. Full conference participation by TAs, as well as participation in three fall-semester sessions, will result in receipt of a “certification of participation in recognition of preparation for TA responsibilities.”
Some observations from last year’s participants:
- “I learned various ways to engage students, organize an effective lab session, and clearly indicate for myself and the students what the learning goals are.”
- “I have realized that I need to start asking for feedback from students and faculty NOW, and not wait on it. This is something that had not at all crossed my mind.”
- “The concurrent sessions, facilitated by TA Fellows, offered me a chance to discuss more deeply certain problems that we may encounter. The TA Fellows answered our questions frankly, provided suggestions from their experience and were very supportive.”
- “The conference staff and presenters presented the role of the TA as a professional one, serving as an instructional member of UD. This presentation made me feel respected,supported, and also motivated me to make the most out of my TA appointment.”
Twenty TA Fellows, faculty and staff from academic programs across the University will share their instructional practices by leading concurrent sessions on a range of teaching topics. The sessions are designed to demonstrate and help participants practice effective teaching approaches; address questions and policies; and provide a supportive forum to help TAs transition into their instructional responsibilities. The conference is followed by discipline-specific training at the departmental level.