TA Day: Graduate Student Conference on Teaching

Wednesday September 3, 2014
Room 2050, Social Science Centre
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Program to be Announced

This one-day conference introduces graduate students to teaching at The University of Western Ontario and helps them prepare for their roles as teaching assistants. Join TSC staff and award-winning professors to learn about facilitating discussions in tutorials, helping undergraduate students in laboratory settings, dealing with difficult students, and much more!

Are you an International Graduate Student at Western? For more information on International Teaching Assistant Day, explore our ITA Day Page.

TA Day 2013 Program (pdf)

TA Day 2013 Program

Opening Remarks

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

SSC 2050

Debra Dawson

 Teaching Support Centre

Lorraine Davies

Associate Vice-Provost


Kevin Goodbout



David Blocker


GTA Union (PSAC Local 610)

Keynote Presentation

9:15 – 10:00 a.m.

SSC 2050

Thinking About Teaching:

Self-reflexivity, Creativity, and Engagement

Susan Knabe

Women’s Studies & Feminist Research and Faculty of Information and Media Studies

Introduction to TA Training Programs at Western

Nanda Dimitrov, Teaching Support Centre (TSC)

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.

SSC 2050

Coffee Break

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions (Choose One)

10:30 – 11:25 a.m.

Analogies in Science


SSC 2020



SSC 2050

Time Management Strategies for TAs

SSC 2024

Derek McLachlin, Biochemistry

Join this session to learn about the effective use of analogies in Science Teaching.

Nanda Dimitrov, TSC

Learn about starting and guiding class discussions effectively.  Practice leading group discussions using quescussion and various brainstorming techniques.

Jennifer Sintzel, Learning Skills Services

To be successful in the dual roles of student and TA requires a carefully planned balancing act. Discuss time management strategies that can help you be an effective and efficient student and TA.

Concurrent Sessions (Choose One)

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Critical Incidents in the Life of a TA

SSC 2020 

The First Day of Class  

SSC 2050

Helping Your Students Write Better 

SSC 2024

Karyn Olsen & Zoe Morris, TSC

In this session, some common problems in student-instructor interactions will be illustrated through discussion of short case studies.

Ken Meadows, TSC

Walking into the classroom on the first day can be intimidating for both students and TAs.  This session explores what you can do to ensure a successful beginning to the school year.

Paul Schmidt, Writing Support Centre

This session will focus on how TAs can help their students learn expectations for academic writing, and help them to become better writers. 

Lunch Break (free boxed lunch available in SSC 2028)

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (Choose One)

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Making Connections @ Your Western Library

SSC 2020

Dealing with Difficult Students

SSC 2050

Starting Your Teaching Dossier

SSC 2024

Western Libraries

Join us to find out how the library can work for you and for your students. Learn about resources and services that can simplify your teaching and your research.

Kim Luton, Sociology

Many TAs experience occasional situations in which students become “difficult” or disruptive.  In this session you will discuss strategies you can use to deal with student behaviour that interferes with learning in the classroom.

Aisha Haque, TSC

Documenting your teaching in a teaching dossier will help you when you teach a course for the second time, teach a course on your own, or when you apply for jobs. In this session, you will learn strategies for starting a teaching dossier.

Coffee Break

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

Effective TAing at Western: Panel of TA Award Winners

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

SSC 2050

Graduate Student Teaching Award winners will speak about effective ways of fulfilling the TA role and about their experience teaching in a variety of disciplines.  Panelists will answer questions and address concerns you might have about teaching and learning at Western.

The New TA Survival Kit

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.

SSC 2050

Practical Implications of the TA Contract

David Blocker

President, GTA Union

Harassment and Discrimination Issues for Graduate Students

Terri Tomchick-Condon

Equity and Human Rights Services

Introducing the Society of Graduate Students

Kevin Godbout

President, SOGS