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Learning and Teaching Happenings and Resources for Teaching Assistants

March 2023 | Issue 1

Leveraging Your TAship for Career Progression

Depending on where you are in your TA work you may be thinking about ways in which to leverage your TA experience for future careers. Connecting with your Teaching Assistant Consultant (TAC) is a great starting point as they can provide peer observations, support you with TA-related queries, and write letters of your teaching for your teaching dossiers.

Additionally, reaching out to your professors for opportunities to guest lecture or just chat about their own experiences and how they came to the career they are in can be extremely impactful. You may even consider asking a professor you trust if they would be willing to sit down with you to discuss your teaching dossier or to show you theirs and discuss how they put together their dossier.

There is always support through Career Services and the LTSI, two units on campus dedicated to assisting with different aspects of preparing for future careers. Together, you are well-supported as a TA to leverage your TA work for your future interests.

March's Featured
Teaching Assistant Consultants (TAC) - Words of Wisdom

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Mikayla Holmes (she/her)
Mathematics & Statistics

My advice to TAs is to prioritize seeking feedback from other TAs or professors who display a teaching pedagogy that appeals to them and which they would like to incorporate into their own teaching style. Sometimes approaching a professor can be daunting, however, upon hearing your reason for reaching out I believe most would be more than eager to provide suggestions, tips, or just the opportunity to observe them teach. Having an open minded approach to teaching is the key to progressing in the world of academia.

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Yichun Zhao (he/him)
Computer Science

Especially as a new TA, it is hard to know how one is performing and if one is doing the right things to help the students. I have found TA meetings with the instructor are beneficial in sharing your experience to gain feedback (and also to inform the instructor about happenings outside of the classroom). There is also TAC support to conduct observations of your teachings and to provide valuable discussion with you.

If that isn't available, kindly ask the instructor to come to one of your lessons! Generally, it is a good idea to keep a list of things that go smoothly and that could go better next time in terms of student interactions, instructional methods, and other areas that you find value in. If your department has TA evaluations, those are great evidence to look back at the end of the term and improve from there.

profile photo of Mehrab

Brodie Drake (he/him)
Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies (EPLS)

Initiating feedback from students can help to assess your teaching in many ways. Did they understand what you intended for them to learn from a lesson? Did a new approach you tried in teaching increase their engagement? Did they find your written feedback on an assignment effective? Or what helped (or did not help) their learning in the course overall?
Yet, make sure you are ready to receive the feedback when you look it over. Have an open mind (and heart!).

Feedback that feels uncomfortable to read often hides the deepest learning. Celebrate and value your students’ perspectives; essentially, their feedback (good or bad) is encouragement to learn and grow as a teacher.

Teaching Assistant Supports

  1. Looking for additional support or community around teaching and learning? Attend one of the many LTSI workshops where we discuss topics from grading, sense of belonging, teaching with love, inclusive teaching strategies, being an international TA, and more!

  2. Not sure where to start in putting together a teaching dossier? Check out our teaching dossier guide and template.


Teaching Assistant Events & Workshops

Missed a TA Conference session? Not to worry, some are repeated throughout the spring term. Check out the offerings on Learning Central - filter by provider "LTSI" and look for the "LTSI/TA" tag! TAs are also encouraged and welcome to attend instructor workshops.

View all upcoming workshops

Doing TA Work (self-paced asynchronous course)

Have you been tasked with a teaching assistant (TA) position for an online course or a course that uses online components in a blended format? In this online course, you will access information and resources you require to successfully perform your TA duties via Brightspace and other online tools.

Learn more and register


Student Resources and Supports

Learn Anywhere is the best place for students to access resources and supports for in-person, blended and online learning and access our student academic success supports (Learning Strategies Program, Math and Stats Assistance Centre, Centre for Academic Communication)

Share Learn Anywhere with your students


Contact Us

Would you like to contribute to this newsletter, or have questions regarding our workshops, events or resources?

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