Many graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships, and while teaching assistant (TA) duties vary across departments, they all demand considerable skill and knowledge. These duties can include grading, consulting with students during office hours, leading discussion or problem sessions, teaching labs, or giving lectures.
To assist new TAs as they prepare for their duties, the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching offers its Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) each August.
Sessions at the orientation offer effective strategies for the varied teaching duties assumed by TAs and provide information on campus resources available to TAs.
Participants at TAO also receive an opportunity to practice their teaching skills and receive feedback on their teaching from experienced teachers.
Participation in the orientation can make students’ work as TAs easier and will be a valuable addition to their curriculum vitae, especially if they intend to pursue an academic career.