Preparing to be a TA

If your department hasn’t answered these questions for you, be sure to ask for clarification.

TA Preparation: A Checklist for Departments

If your department hasn’t answered these questions for you, be sure to ask for clarification.

What provisions are made for coordination between the faculty member and Teaching Assistants who run tutorial groups and labs?

  • Regular meetings
  • Lecture, tutorial, and lab notes are shared
  • Material to appear on tests is discussed

What routine information is systematically provided to Teaching Assistants?

  • Resources: office space, secretarial support
  • Instructional materials
  • Department policies on grading, plagiarism, etc.
  • University policies that directly affect instruction

Is provision made for dialogue concerning the professional development of TAs?

  • Time set aside for this purpose
  • Regular discussion at departmental meetings
  • List of mentors, faculty, other TAs available for consultation

Does your department have a training Program for TAs? Does it include these topics?

  • Preparation of lectures and presentations
  • Encouraging student participation
  • Motivating undergraduate students
  • Classroom management
  • Establishing rapport
  • Tutoring methods
  • Effective communication
  • Stress management
  • Evaluation and grading
  • Practice teaching and feedback sessions with other TAs
  • Lab procedures, techniques, safety

How The Gwenna Moss Centre Can Help You Prepare

There are many ways The Gwenna Moss Centre can help you prepare to teach. You may attend workshops or short courses at the Centre on various topics related to teaching and learning, or join one of our discussion groups. 

The GMCTL also has a small library of books, articles, and resources related to teaching and learning, including examples of teaching philosophy statements and portfolios, written by graduate students. Graduate students may sign out our library books for a period of two weeks, however, the portfolios may not be borrowed from the Centre.

Graduate students may be interested in our non-credit courses offered by the GMCTL and the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

We can also provide Feeedback on Teaching and support for graduate student teachers who want to enhance their teaching.

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