of TAs in academic courses
|Well-prepared and motivated Teaching Assistants (TAs) can have a marked influence on students' learning experiences in academic courses. Running sessions that delve more deeply into topics, helping students with homework, facilitating small group work, or holding office hours for one-on-one consultation – TAs interact with their students in many different settings where a significant part of the learning process takes place.|
|Teaching Mentors providing support to
|Departments provide training and support for their TAs in a variety of ways. One option that has proved very effective in many departments is the use of graduate student Teaching Mentors, usually drawn from the ranks of experienced TAs. Depending on department needs, these Teaching Mentors may be involved in department- or course-specific TA training, provide ongoing support for new TAs, plan and implement TA professional development opportunities, and help provide insight and feedback on the teaching process to TAs, the department, and CTL. Teaching Mentors may also help develop and maintain archives for classes and training programs in their departments, to prevent the loss of important teaching tools and information about courses from one year to the next.|
|The MinT program as professional development
for Teaching Mentors
|While department-based Teaching Mentors are often tapped for their roles because of having been excellent teachers themselves, the process of mentoring others in teaching depends on a knowledge base and skill set that intersects, yet extends beyond, teaching excellence. MinT events provide the opportunity for Teaching Mentors to discuss the characteristics of a successful mentor-mentee relationship, learn tools for providing feedback, and establish goals for their ongoing efforts to build and maintain a supportive atmosphere for teaching and learning within their departments.
As they serve their departments and develop as mentors,
MinT provides an opportunity for these experienced graduate students – often long beyond their own TA responsibilities – to stay connected to teaching in a "low impact" manner consistent with their appropriately expanding scholarly research efforts.
...like teaching, mentoring is a work in progress.
2008/09 MinT Participant
Further information on the program:How can I participate in the MinT program?