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TA Support

The Center for Teaching & Faculty Development (CTFD) recognizes that Teaching Assistants play an important role in teaching and learning at the University, and have developed a range of resources to assist these important members of our community.

Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)

For more information on CIRTL career development programming for STEM graduate students and postdocs, please visit here.

Teaching Assistant Orientation

Each year, the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development (CTFD), in coordination with the Provost’s Office and the Graduate School, offers the campus-wide Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO), which provides graduate students an opportunity to meet senior TAs, gain important basic teaching skills, and begin to feel a sense of membership in the larger University of Massachusetts community of scholars. While some departments may schedule their own orientations, the highly-rated campus-wide TA Orientation is the only comprehensive orientation opportunity available to all teaching assistants. The program includes a general overview of teaching at the University of Massachusetts, including workshops on fundamental teaching skills from distinguished faculty members.

The 2014 TA Orientation will occur on Friday, August 29 from 8:45 AM to 12:30 PM in the Campus Center lower level. To register, please click here. For a preliminary TAO program, please click here.

Teaching Documentation Program

The Teaching Documentation Program (TDP) is designed to help graduate students develop teaching skills and to allow them to document their teaching development efforts in three key areas: introduction to theory, teaching assessment and teaching improvement. Self-paced and flexible, the TDP is a program that can be completed over the course of a graduate student’s studies. At the conclusion of the TDP, participants receive a formal letter of documentation from the CTFD, which inventories and describes their teaching development efforts. Participants also will have organized a collection of materials that document their teaching development efforts, which will be useful preparation when seeking a position with teaching responsibilities, in preparing a formal teaching portfolio, and for articulating future development goals.

The Teaching Documentation Program is currently undergoing revision. For more information, contact .

Workshop Series on Presenting Your Teaching on the Academic Job Market

These practical workshops are designed to familiarize graduate students with the materials most often requested in academic job applications -- teaching statements, documentation of teaching effectiveness, and teaching portfolios. More than a mark on a checklist, these documents help graduate students prepare to discuss teaching in a focused way during job interviews or informal networking situations. In this workshop series, graduate students learn about the uses and elements of a teaching portfolio, and have the opportunity to begin crafting and organizing parts of their own portfolios, including teaching statements. Graduate students also participate in peer review sessions, receiving both constructive feedback and an opportunity to have a sustained conversation about teaching. Registration is required for these workshops, which are announced to all graduate students via email. For a calendar of upcoming workshops, see here. For more information, contact .

Upcoming Events

Romancing the Class: How to Relax and Foster Lively Student Engagement Using Clowning Approaches in Teaching

  • Wednesday, February 12, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Register here.

Mindfulness Meditation and Contemplative Practice for Educators

  • Wednesday, March 5, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
  • Register here.

Teaching Tools and Strategies Workshop

  • Tuesday, March 11, 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Register here.

Responding to Student Writing Workshop

  • Monday, March 24, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
  • Register here.

Incorporating Social Justice Into Our Teaching

  • Monday, April 14, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Register here.

Course Design: Syllabus Construction, Writing Assignments, and Technology

  • Tuesday, April 29, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Register here.

Teaching Portfolio Series

Introduction to the Teaching Portfolio

  • Monday, March 3, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Register here.

Preparing a Teaching Statement

  • Wednesday, March 26, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Register here.

Finish Your Teaching Statement! Workshop

  • Tuesday, April 1, 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
  • Register here.

Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

  • Wednesday, April 9, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Register here.

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