TA Training

L&S Teaching Mentors Program

The L&S TA Training & Support Team is responsible for welcoming and training hundreds of new TAs each year. Teaching Mentors are the heart of this crucial undertaking: they serve as facilitators at the annual L&S Fall TA Training event and provide mentorship throughout the semester. Those selected to be Teaching Mentors have not only a proven track record of excellence as educators, but also a strong desire to share their experience and mentor new TAs navigating their first year.

The deadline to make 2023-2024 L&S Teaching Mentor nominations is Monday, Feb 13, 2023 at 5 pm.

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Spring 2023 TA Training

On Monday, Jan 23, 2023, L&S hosted a training and orientation for Teaching Assistants (graduate and undergraduate).

After Jan 23, TAs may access some of the training material by self-enrolling in the appropriate Canvas course:

New TA Training: https://canvas.wisc.edu/enroll/HWW6RM

Returning TA Training: https://canvas.wisc.edu/enroll/YARKFT

Fall 2023 TA Training

The Fall 2023 L&S TA Training will take place in-person on Thursday, August 31, 2023 from approximately 9am – 5 pm. Please check back in late Spring 2023 for more details and registration information.

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TA Training Goals

The training will help TAs acquire knowledge, skills, and confidence to cultivate engaged, equitable environments where all students (and teachers!) can thrive as they navigate the challenges and joys of learning. To this end, TAs will:

  • Understand the importance and impact of good and sustainable teaching.
  • Redefine good teaching as a process of designing student-centered learning experiences.
  • Appreciate how Backward Design helps teachers intentionally create effective student learning experiences.
  • As Relevant: Design a student-centered learning activity using Active Learning Frameworks.
  • As Relevant: Use their knowledge of best practices to construct an effective lesson plan.
  • Identify essential policies and resources relevant to your TA role.
  • Connect personally with peers and an experienced teaching mentor.

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TA Training Content

Asynchronous Canvas modules, to be completed prior to the live training, include:

    • Intro to Pedagogy
    • Canvas Basics
    • TA Policies & Resources
    • Future Training Opportunities

Live Training Components:

    • Welcome from L&S
    • Panel Presentation: Equity & Inclusion for TAs
    • Panel Presentation: Common Challenges of being a TA and a Student (and what to do about them)
    • Experienced TA Q&A
    • Small group workshops, including:
      • Hands-on activities to explore important themes in teaching
      • Discussion of classroom challenges and common concerns

Departments wishing to learn more about what is covered in the training can reach out to Lynne Prost for access to the Canvas materials.

News from TA Training

  • Building Inclusive Communities

    During a recent workshop, TAs learned foundational knowledge and skills for building toward socially-just classroom communities. Keep reading for a learning activity you can do on your own and strategies you can start implementing right …

  • Mental Health Resources for Graduate Students

    The following list of mental health resources was compiled specifically for graduate students by the Graduate School in Fall 2022. Graduate and Professional Student Assistance Specialist: The Graduate School and the Dean of Students Office …

  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in the Classroom

    Recently, Katherine Charek Briggs, Assistant Director of the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, led an interactive Zoom workshop for L&S TAs to hear about inclusive practices, prepare to make space for conversation within their work …

  • More News