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Teaching Strategies

Foundations of Teaching Workshop Series


This four-part series introduces and develops the fundamental skills of effective teaching for graduate teaching assistants (TAs). Topics include communicating expectations, facilitating a class, grading, and teaching critical thinking skills. This will give first-time and early TAs a solid foundation for successful teaching in graduate school and beyond.

Goals of the Workshop Series:

This workshop series aims to:

  • Provide a common starting point for new TAs
  • Give you tools and a process for successful teaching in the future
  • Reduce teaching anxiety by creating a space for questions/concerns you may have about teaching
  • Create a teaching community where we can learn from each other

Who Should Attend:

Graduate students who are first-time and early TAs or are interested in learning about the foundational aspects of pedagogy. Postdoctoral scholars are also welcome to join if they have little to no teaching experience.

Workshop Length and Tracks:

This series is offered across the first four weeks of each semester, meeting once per week for 75 minutes. In the fall, there are two workshop tracks, one focused on being a TA in the humanities and social sciences and one for TAs in STEM. In the spring, the workshop content is combined to support TAs in all disciplines. Engineering-specific sessions are also offered.

Learning Goals by Session:

After successfully completing this workshop series, you will be able to:

  • Week 1:
    • Identify important expectations between the professor, TA, and students
    • Develop strategies to establish clear communication with the professor and your students
    • Develop strategies for building classroom community
    • Create a plan to conduct a successful first week of class
  • Week 2:
    • Structure a coherent and effective class session
    • Outline a mini-lecture
    • Be able to deliver information using strategies for effective public speaking
  • Week 3:
    • Apply strategies to grade efficiently and fairly
    • Create and use rubrics to grade and communicate feedback more effectively
    • Collect meaningful feedback on your instruction
  • Week 4:
    • Design questions that elicit higher-level thinking
    • Engage students with active learning and problem-solving in the classroom
    • Develop strategies to address common difficulties with teaching sensitive topics


Can apply toward these graduate student/postdoc certificates:

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