Conferences & Orientations

SAVE THE DATE! The 2017 Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation will take place in the afternoon on Monday, August 21st in Gore Hall. A schedule and details will be posted in May. Registration will open for newly-appointed TAs in early May.

Graduate directors: Please recommend TA Fellows here.

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I think TA orientation program is one of the most helpful programs that help TAs – especially for those who have never been a TA before. – Participating new TA

 

Every year, the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning, organizes a half day event to provide information and resources to new graduate Teaching Assistants. Transitioning into the role of a new Graduate Teaching Assistant can often create feelings of uncertainty. The Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation is designed to ease the stress of this transition by providing incoming graduate TAs with necessary information regarding what to expect. The event helps orient TAs to their instructional roles and responsibilities at the University of Delaware and introduces them to effective practices and central aspects of learning and teaching. Following orientation, our graduate students understand many of the tasks for the academic year ahead and are armed with the resources and knowledge that lead to success. Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation is primarily for those graduate students who have been newly appointed as TAs for the academic year.

Graduate students who have excelled at being TAs and are recommended by their department help facilitate sessions. They serve on a general panel alongside professors and lead area-specific sessions. This is the favorite aspect for many new TAs.

I thought it was well-organized and offered an opportunity to discuss ideas with other TA’s, as we got to know each other. – Participating new TA

I liked when we had the opportunity to present specific concerns we had to our TA Fellows, and they helped us see what the best course of action would be in such situations. – Participating new TA

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Over 200 new TAs participated in the August 2015 TA training. During an introductory panel, students heard from both experienced graduate TAs and professors on what both faculty and undergraduate students will expect from them. Two other sessions followed — the first one being exclusively moderated by TA Fellows according to area of study, and the last session focused on three themes: Assessment Techniques, Technology in the Classroom and Strategies for Classroom Management. Professional staff from the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning, Academic Technology Services and the Library organized those workshops. You can find the complete schedule as well as schedules for previous orientations here.

Some lessons from the offered sessions:

The scenarios that were played out were extremely helpful. I learned more about FERPA, what to do before, during and after a student is observed being academically dishonest, and also how to make ice breakers not the most torturing aspect of a session. – Participating new TA

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I learned that the way one carries him/herself and their attire is what will help to establish authority especially since the students one teaches may be close in age. – Participating new TA

How to deal with students distracted by cell phones/internet during class; have a routine, to give students signposts and meet expectations throughout semester; review previous content before class in order to anticipate student questions. – Participating new TA

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There are many ways that a young TA can make herself/himself be taken more seriously by the students whom they are teaching. These include dressing professionally, being punctual, a firm command of class material, and clear and fair expectations. – Participating new TA

Very good suggestions on how to deal with specific questions in set scenarios. – Participating new TA

I learned how to be an efficient TA. – Participating new TA

See in particular the session on Arts & Humanities as well as the session on Physics & Engineering for examples of what was discussed during those sessions.

 

Past TA Conferences provided opportunities for TAs to learn more about teaching and learning in higher education.

 

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