Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO)
Many graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships, and while teaching assistant (TA) duties vary across departments, they all demand considerable skill and knowledge. These duties can include grading, consulting with students during office hours, leading discussion or problem sessions, teaching labs, or giving lectures.
To assist new TAs as they prepare for their duties, the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching offers its Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) each August.
- Sessions at the orientation offer effective strategies for the varied teaching duties assumed by TAs and provide information on campus resources available to TAs.
- Participants at TAO also receive an opportunity to practice their teaching skills and receive feedback on their teaching from experienced teachers.
- Participation in the orientation can make students’ work as TAs easier and will be a valuable addition to their curriculum vitae, especially if they intend to pursue an academic career.
Who Should Attend TAO?
- Graduate students who will begin teaching assistant (TA) duties during the 2013-14 school year are invited to attend TAO.
- You may be required to attend TAO by your department. Please check with your department to find out its TAO attendance policy.
- If you do not know if you will begin your TA duties during the 2013-14 school year, then you should check with your department to find out.
- If you will not be a TA during the 2013-14 school year, then you should defer your attendance of TAO until the beginning of the academic year in which you actually begin your TA duties.
When is TAO?
*Times and locations subject to change.
|9:00||Buttrick Hall Atrium Registration|
|9:30 – 11:45||Buttrick Hall Classrooms Disciplinary Focus Session I – Join other new TAs in your discipline to discuss Vanderbilt policies, teaching assistant roles and responsibilities and student learning. This session includes information on holding effective office hours.|
|12:00||Buttrick Hall Atrium Lunch Break – Refreshments provided|
|12:45 – 1:30||Buttrick Hall Classrooms Expert TA Panels in each disciplinary focus session
|1:30 – 4:00||Buttrick Hall Classrooms/ Stevenson Center Classrooms Disciplinary Focus Session II – Learn about – and practice – effective teaching methods relevant to the teaching you’ll be doing as a TA—for example, leading review sessions, grading papers, running a lab, or teaching your own course.|
PARKING: Please allow yourself PLENTY of time to get to campus and to find parking. We suggest that you give yourself at least 20 minutes to park and find your way to Buttrick Hall.
- Vanderbilt parking: If you haven’t already, it would be wise to get your semester parking permit from Traffic and Parking so you can park for free in a designated Vanderbilt parking lot. Visit the Office of Traffic and Parking Web site to see designated lots.
- Visitor parking: If you don’t have your VU parking permit, there are several Central Parking lots available for your use. Go to this map for more information on and the location of Visitor Parking lots.
For More Information
For more information, contact the CFT at (615)322-7290.