Quarterly TA Training Workshops

Each quarter, the TA Training Program offers teaching workshops useful to both North and South Campus graduate students. All of our workshops are held in small-group settings, with hands-on activities and lots of time for questions and discussion. Whether you are a current TA or would like to TA in the future, please join us to learn new strategies and skills for the classroom. These workshops are offered throughout the year.

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FALL TA TRAINING WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

Week 3
Monday, 10/14 (10:00-11:30 AM): Creating Inclusive Classrooms
Thursday, 10/17 (2:00-3:30 PM): Assessment & Grading: Measuring Student Achievement in the Classroom
Friday, 10/18 (10:30 AM-12:00 PM): The Nuts & Bolts of Lesson Planning

Week 4
Monday, 10/21 (4:30-6:00 PM): How Students Learn
Tuesday, 10/22 (12:00-1:30 PM): The Nuts & Bolts of Lesson Planning
Wednesday, 10/23 (2:30-4:00 PM): Creating Inclusive Classrooms
Thursday, 10/24 (2:00-3:30 PM): Active Learning Strategies for STEM Discussion Sections
Friday, 10/25 (10:30 AM-12:00 PM): Assessment & Grading: Measuring Student Achievement in the Classroom

Week 6
Monday, 11/4 (12:00-1:30 PM): Cheating, Grade Complaints, and Disruptive Behavior: Prevention & Management 
Tuesday, 11/5 (12:30-2:00 PM): The Nuts & Bolts of Lesson Planning
Wednesday, 11/6 (4:00-5:30 PM): Interrupting Bias to Cultivate Inclusivity

Week 7
Tuesday, 11/12 (2:00-3:30 PM): Assessment & Grading: Measuring Student Achievement in the Classroom
Wednesday, 11/13 (10:30 AM-12:00 PM): Active Learning Strategies for STEM Discussion Sections

Week 8
Monday, 11/18 (10:30-12:00 PM): How Students Learn
Tuesday, 11/19 (10:30 AM-12:00 PM): Time Management: Meeting Multiple Goals as a Graduate Student, TA, and Human
Wednesday, 11/20 (2:00-3:30 PM): Creating Inclusive Classrooms

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The foundations series

This series of five 90-minute workshops is designed with the novice teacher in mind. Each workshop provides an introduction into key concepts and strategies for developing an evidence-based teaching practice. All first-time teachers are encouraged to attend this series. 

The five workshops that comprise the series are:

  • How Students Learn
  • Creating Inclusive Classrooms
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Lesson Planning
  • Active Learning Strategies (choose one of the three versions below)
    • for Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (focuses on text-based discussion strategies)
    • for Labs (focuses on strategies specific to the laboratory setting)
    • for STEM discussion sections (focuses on problem-based discussion strategies)
  • Assessment and Grading

While each workshop is a self-contained unit and it is not necessary to attend the workshops in any particular order, the order above is suggested in order to provide the most support to novice teachers' learning. Full descriptions for each of these workshops can be found below.

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Workshop Descriptions

Discussion sections are often the most rewarding part of class. Yet, as moderators of these discussions, TAs are frequently concerned that they will be staring at blank faces for an hour. This workshop will go over the principles of active learning and how to implement active learning strategies in your classrooms. You will take home strategies for designing good discussion questions, promoting active reading, and eliciting participation from reluctant students.

Lab sections are often daunting for first-time TAs due to the responsibilities required to keep students safe while also teaching important conceptual and technical information. In this workshop, you will learn strategies to engage students in different lab experiments and the importance of student-centered learning techniques. Through discussion and practice, you will learn to implement diverse teaching strategies and to encourage students to collaborate and explore the course materials on their own; keep students on track to ensure they finish their experiments within the allocated time; and troubleshoot what to do when experiments go awry. 

Discussion sections are often the most rewarding part of a class. Yet, as moderators of these discussions, TAs are often terrified that they will be staring at blank faces for an hour. Participants will take home strategies for eliciting participation from reluctant students, developing procedures for stimulating thoughtful discussion, and keeping discussions going beyond the classroom. 

How is assessment different from grading? Do you know when students have learned the knowledge and skills required to introduce new material? Is it possible to gauge your own effectiveness as an instructor prior to formal evaluations? In this workshop, you will discuss the difference between assessment and grading, the importance of incorporating assessment into your approach to instruction, and various assessment techniques to gauge student learning. You will learn to identify appropriate ways to evaluate student growth, develop a system for measuring your effectiveness in the classroom, and learn ways to more fairly grade your students. 

In this workshop, you will learn strategies to proactively set norms supportive of an inclusive classroom. Through self-reflection, you will develop an understanding of your own identities and how these identities appear in the classroom. You will practice using active listening techniques to troubleshoot difficult moments in and outside of the classroom. This workshop focuses on proactive strategies rather than on confronting bias. You will practice inclusive strategies to apply in your own classrooms.  

This workshop will offer an overview of how students learn and teaching techniques that will help your students achieve their goals. You will examine why material you’ve learned has stuck with you and the best ways to help your students hold onto the content you teach. Through activities and discussion, you will learn how to build on students’ prior knowledge, help students organize new knowledge, tap into students’ drives to learn, and use activities to encourage students to set goals. Our focus will be on the practical application of student-centered instruction.

This workshop will serve as a model for effective lesson planning, focusing on formulating measurable learning objectives and aligning teaching strategies to them. With guidance, you will break down the process of creating effective lesson plans into manageable steps and tailor these steps to the needs of your discipline. You will practice creating a sample lesson plan and receive constructive feedback on it from your peers.

In this workshop, you will discuss strategies for creating respectful class communities that minimize instances of academic misconduct, grade complaints, and disruptive behavior. Through activities and discussion, you will learn to set clear expectations, foster a sense of personal responsibility in your students, create a course culture that facilitates active learning and participation, and navigate disciplinary issues. 

This workshop builds on concepts and strategies learned in Creating Inclusive Classrooms to help you develop knowledge and skills for interrupting bias and managing hot moments in the classroom. In this workshop, you will engage in and practice vulnerability, active listening, recognizing intent versus impact, and strategies for confronting bias. You will walk away with a deeper understanding of the impact of bias from the perspectives of both students and instructors, as well as concrete tools for troubleshooting friction in the classroom. Note: We highly encourage you to take Creating Inclusive Classrooms before participating in this workshop. 

Being a TA can be challenging. You juggle research, teaching schedules, important meetings, and your personal life. There is no universal roadmap for how to keep all of these priorities balanced and sequenced properly, but this workshop will help you organize your quarterly schedule and prioritize tasks according to importance and urgency. You will learn strategies to achieve balance and identify online and campus resources to support your time-management goals.