Teaching as Professional Development

Teaching is an important professional development opportunity for you. Whether you decide to pursue an academic career, work in industry, health care or government, the presentation and facilitation skills you develop and the leadership experience you gain will give you a competitive advantage in your chosen career.

To make the most of this professional development opportunity, think beyond the course. If a faculty position is in your plans, regard each course you TA as a course you may teach as a new faculty member in the future. Document how you taught key concepts, and keep copies of creative learning activities you designed to help your students understand difficult concepts in your tutorial.

If you plan to pursue a non-academic career, set a goal for each semester and focus on a key skill you want to develop, such as facilitating teamwork in the class, one-on-one mentorship and feedback, supervising undergraduate research or developing a clear marking rubric for your students that gives you experience in systematic assessment.

If you are able to document your teaching and learning activities during your program this way, you will have an extensive portfolio of resources and experience to include in your teaching dossier when you graduate. You can also add to your preparation by participating in some of the Teaching Support Centre’s other programs on teaching at the university level, such as the Western Certificate in University Teaching, the Teaching Mentor Program or the Future Professor series, which includes sessions on preparing a teaching dossier.