TATP - Teaching Assistant Training Program

Online TATP Handbook

Contact information for services on campus that all graduate students should know about!

Introduction

The Teaching Assistant Training Program is a hands-on, two-and-a-half- day session taught by current Teaching Assistants (TAs) and designed for new TAs embarking on their teaching careers. Learn about fair grading practices, diversity in the classroom, lecturing, and giving students feedback on written work. Choose from concurrent sessions designed to meet your specific discipline-related teaching needs. Get real-time, hands-on teaching experience in our unique micro-teaching sessions, where you can try out your teaching skills and techniques with a small group of your peers and receive helpful, constructive feedback. At the end of the session, you’ll receive a certificate as evidence of your commitment to the development of your knowledge and skill as a teacher.

What is the TA Training Program?

  • Since 1994, the TA Training program has provided hundreds of TAs with training, encouragement, and practical experience related to teaching in a university classroom.
  • Space is limited in the program due to the high demand.

Upcoming Sessions

August TATP Sessions:

  • Friday August 15th to Sunday August 17th, 2014
  • Friday August 22nd to Sunday August 24th, 2014
  • Wednesday August 27th to Friday August 29th
  • Saturday August 30th to Monday September 1st (Science & Engineering)

September TATP Sessions:

  • Friday September 5th to Sunday September 7th (Social Sciences)
  • Friday September 12th to Sunday September 14th
  • Friday September 19th to Sunday September 21st

How do I sign up?

  • The register button above will take you to the online TATP registration form. Once you have completed the form an automatic confirmation email will be sent to you confirming the date of your session. If the session you select is full, you will be placed on a waiting list and you will be notified if a space in the session becomes available.
  • A mandatory $20 refundable deposit is required to complete your registration for TATP.  Please bring your deposit to Alicia Hitchcock at the front desk of the Teaching Support Centre, Room 122, The D.B. Weldon Library. Please note the Teaching Support Centre is open 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Your registration will be deleted if the deposit is not received prior to the session.

What if I need to cancel my session?

  • If you must cancel or switch sessions, please contact Alicia Hitchcock. We need to be contacted at least 72 hours before the beginning of your session.
  • If you do not attend your session and we do not receive an email from you 72 hours in advance, you may NOT sign up for a future session.

How does it work?

  • The seminar is free. We collect a $20.00 refundable deposit, which will be returned to you after you complete your session.
  • All sessions are held on campus.
  • Lunches are provided.
  • Graduates of the program receive a Western University certificate.
  • A few days before the session, we will email you a package of information about the session (location, detailed schedule, etc.).
  • If you are unable to attend or need to switch sessions you must contact Alicia Hitchcock at least 72 hours before the session starts. Without this notice, we will not be able to return your deposit. 

What are the benefits?

  • Looks great on a CV or as part of a teaching dossier
  • Improved skills for presentations, seminars, etc.
  • Increased confidence
  • Improved orientation to the job
  • Increased student learning as a result of you improved teaching
  • Meeting other TAs and sharing ideas

What's involved?

TATP sessions normally take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but sometimes we also run a session over three weekdays. The schedule for all TATP sessions is as follows:

    • Day 1 - 12:30pm to 5:00pm
    • Day 2 - 9:15am to 4:30pm
    • Day 3 - 9:15am to 4:30pm

Both instruction and practical training are provided.

Instructional Topics

  • Preparing effective lectures ("Building Lessons")
  • Giving and receiving effective feedback
  • Marking practices
  • Interpersonal communication with students
  • Leading discussions and planning discussion-based classes*
  • Teaching in science and engineering labs*
  • Diversity & cross-cultural communication
  • Active Learning in the classroom

*These sessions run concurrently, so that TAs can choose sessions most relevant to them.

Practical Training

  • Each TA teaches two brief practice lessons in groups of 4 - 6 TAs.
  • Each lesson receives detailed feedback from the instructor and the group.

Who are the instructors?

Meet our staff

TA Training Program Coordinators

  • Karyn Olsen - Anthropology
  • Leichelle Little - Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Kate Traill - English

TA Training Program Instructors

  • Melanie-Anne Atkins - Faculty of Education
  • Danielle Brewer - Anatomy & Cell Biology
  • Jennifer Hutchison - Faculty of Music
  • Melissa Jacquart - Philosophy
  • Gastón Keller - Computer Science
  • Steven Marti - History
  • Zoe Morris - Anthropology
  • Behnaz Saatian - Cell & Molecular Biology
  • Christopher Schultz - History
  • James Southworth - Philosophy
      • All instructors are experienced TAs with excellent teaching and communication skills.
      • Most are graduates of the Graduate Studies 9500 course "The Theory and Practice of University Teaching", have won teaching awards, or have formal teaching education.
      • All instructors have completed the TA Training Program.

Is this program for international students too?

Yes, international students are welcome!

For information on language and communication courses for International Students, please see the Communication in the Canadian Classroom and Language of Teaching web pages and/or contact Aisha Haque.

Comments from past participants

"The TA Training Program helped greatly with my confidence/comfort level in front of groups of people."

"It is a very helpful session! The microteaching session is especially useful."

"I would recommend it to other TAs."

"All of you are wonderful instructors - great variety of lectures, experiential and case study learning methods. Excellent program."

"I especially liked the microteaching section."

"All the instructors were very friendly, helpful, and informative. Thanks!"

"This is a really timely program for TAs. This is extremely helpful giving TAs knowledge, practical experience, and sufficient courage to continue his/her duty as a TA. I appreciate coordinators and other persons involved. I am really overwhelmed with the assistance and performance of trainers."

"I thought the instructors were all great: very positive, supportive and understanding. The atmosphere all weekend was great...people in good spirits, meeting each other, enjoying each others' talks. Thanks for providing this resource."

"In general, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the instructors for creating a very pleasant environment for participation, I think I speak on behalf of a lot of people when I say that even the shy students felt more confident in speaking and communicating their ideas."

"I would just like to say thank you for helping us and guiding us to become better TA's. Your teaching skills have given me a lot of tips and advice on how to deal with certain situations and to improve on my weaknesses."

"I hope the program keeps going! It's one of the most valuable programs any university can offer."

Useful links and Services

Child Care
Equity Services
First Nations Services
Graduate Teaching Assistants Union
Health and Dental Insurance Plan for Graduate Students
International Student Services
Learning Skills Services
Office of the Ombudsperson
Parking and Visitor Services
Psychological Services
School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Services for Students with Disabilities
Society of Graduate Students (SOGS)
Student Health Services
Thesis Regulation Guide
Western Code of Conduct
Writing Support Centre


Contact

Alicia Hitchcock, Administrative Assistant
Telephone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 80346
Email: ahitchc2@uwo.ca

TATP Co-ordinator
Email: tatp@uwo.ca