Graduate Student Day Introduces Teaching Assistants to Teaching and Learning at McMaster
On Wednesday, September 5th, the Centre for Leadership in Learning (CLL), in collaboration with the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and CUPE 3906, will present Graduate Student Day: An Exploration of Teaching and Learning. The Centre for Leadership in Learning proudly coordinates the morning activities of Graduate Student Day, which include workshops for graduate and undergraduate TAs and graduate students on a range of teaching and learning topics, and provides ample opportunities for networking with other TAs, graduate students, and prominent staff and faculty from across campus. These morning activities begin with registration between 8:00-8:45am in Burke Science Building.
Now in its 32nd year, Graduate Student Day attracts new and returning teaching assistants – both graduate and undergraduate – who can each register for three workshops from a selection of 33. This year we are excited to feature sessions specifically designed for experienced teaching assistants, graduate students entering the job market, undergraduate teaching assistants and international teaching assistants, ensuring the day is relevant and vital for all members of the graduate student and teaching assistant communities. From previous surveys conducted by CLL, we know that there is a great appetite for sessions on professionalization, honing and developing teaching skills, and on working as a member of a broader campus and community. The CLL is happy to present sessions targeting each of these areas, and more. Topics range from the general – “Leading Discussions” and “Marking Labs” – to the specific “Teaching Writing in the Humanities” and “Undergraduate Teaching Assistants” – all with the aim of introducing teaching assistants to teaching and learning topics, and connecting teaching assistants with the Centre for Leadership in Learning and campus resources. A full list of available workshops can be accessed on the CLL website at: tinyurl.com/graduatestudentday. Registration is live, and sessions are filling up fast!
Dr. Susan Vajoczki, Director of the Centre for Leadership in Learning, has noted an increase in interest and attendance over the years, saying, “We’ve seen a steady growth in participant numbers over the last few years. Graduate Student Day is a great opportunity to connect with TAs and graduate students, support their development as teachers and learners, and begin relationships that will endure long after the day is over.” Participants will engage in lively conversations over (free!) food, familiarize themselves with campus services at a resource fair, and share questions and concerns about teaching and learning responsibilities with a knowledgeable and approachable team of facilitators.
The afternoon activities of Graduate Student Day are coordinated by the School of Graduate Studies and include lunch and a lecture by award-winning author Firoozeh Dumas in Burridge Gym (to register for the lunch event, go here: http://sgswelcomelunch.eventbrite.com/). SGS and CLL are partnering this year to host a Resource Fair, also in Burridge Gym, to introduce new and returning graduate students to the resources and services available to support them during their time at McMaster. On Thursday Sept. 6th, the GSA will host a welcome BBQ for graduate students in the newly relocated Phoenix Restaurant.
All teaching assistants and graduate students are welcome to attend Graduate Student Day morning sessions, and these activities and refreshments are provided free of charge. Because sessions fill up fast, pre-registration is strongly recommended as a way to tailor your day and get the most from your sessions. To register, visit the Centre for Leadership in Learning website at tinyurl.com/graduatestudentday.
The CLL’s recent research into TA needs and interests indicates a strong interest in comprehensive, formally-recognized training opportunities. The CLL is currently working to develop programming to meet this need. Please contact postdoctoral fellow Elizabeth Jackson at the CLL to share your ideas, thoughts, and interests as the Centre works to develop a new line-up of TA development programs! Elizabeth is researching best practices in TA and graduate student development, and can be reached at email@example.com or at extension 27473.