The TA Program hosts workshops during the academic year focusing on problems and issues that TAs face.  Graduate students, faculty, and administrators wishing to present in this series of workshops may submit a proposal or email Shawn Loner (scloner@syr.edu) in the Graduate School indicating the title, content, and proposed date of their presentation, and describing how the program will benefit TAs and other graduate students. Proposals will be assessed on the basis of their practical value and broad relevance to the TA population.

Fall 2018 Schedule

Web Accessibility for TAs, Friday, September 7, 2:00-3:30 pm in Physics Building, 115.

University to professor:  Please make your Blackboard space and course materials fully accessible and compliant with ADA standards.
Professor to TA:  Please make our Blackboard space and course materials fully accessible and compliant with ADA standards.
If this describes your situation as a TA, help is on the way! In this practical, hands-on workshop (held in the Physics Bldg. computer lab), ITS staff will show you the basics of web accessibility for instructional purposes and introduce you to the tools you need to efficiently render your Blackboard course space and content — such as PDF documents and videos — accessible to all students.
Presenters: Pamela Thomas is Accessibility Analyst with Academic Applications and Services Centers, ITS and Michael E. Morrison is Associate Director of Academic Service Centers, ITS. Register Here

“What they didn’t tell me in orientation”: a follow-up workshop for TAs, Friday, September 14, 12:30-2:00 pm in Lyman Hall 228.

  • Whether you have been teaching for a few weeks, a semester, or years, there are always new issues and unexpected situations that arise in the classroom.   Come join a panel of experienced Teaching Mentors as we revisit TA Orientation by discussing the most pressing issues and concerns that you have about your TA role and your performance in the classroom.  All TAs (new, current, and former) are welcome for a spirited discussion of what issues concern you most. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the GSO. To RSVP,  email scloner@syr.edu by Wednesday, 9/12/18.  Please email scloner@syr.edu if you need any accommodations.

How to Get Technology Before It Gets You:” Integrating Technology in the Classroom, Friday, September 21, 12:00-1:30 pm in Lyman Hall 228.

  • Almost everyone knows how to use PowerPoint (although not always well). However, what about all the other technology that are now in the classroom? Specifically, technology that is supposed to help you teach. This workshop will be an introduction to some of the many technological services that are available on campus to TAs and graduate students in general. (For example, did you know that you all have access to unlimited Google Drive storage at SU?) In addition to all the resources, we will also discuss some of the challenges of using technologies in the classroom. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the GSO. To RSVP,  email scloner@syr.edu by Wednesday, 9/19/18.  Please email scloner@syr.edu if you need any accommodations.

Supporting Students Across the Spectrum of Academic Preparation, Wednesday, October 3, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Hall of Languages 105

  • Students arrive at university with different educational backgrounds, and not all students are equally prepared for the college-level content Teaching Assistants are asked to deliver or the kinds of assignments they are asked to assess. Helping these students make the progress they need while keeping better-prepared students engaged can be a considerable challenge. A panel of experienced TAs will discuss strategies for working with differently prepared students and other tips for creating a productive classroom environment. Panelists include Tie Zheng (Civil Engineering), Caleb McWhorter (Mathematics), and Camilla Bell (Cultural Foundations of Education). Click here to register.

Teaching Controversial Topics, Friday, October 5, 1:00-2:30 pm in Hall of Languages 202.

  • Controversial topics exist in society and, whether intentional or unintentional, often become a topic of discussion in the classroom. When these topics arise, it is important to be prepared to navigate the contributions of students—that is, to lead, respond to, and further discussion in a manner that encourages critical thinking among students while maintaining a respectful and comfortable classroom environment. This workshop will highlight strategies for addressing sensitive topics in the classroom and will provide guidelines for promoting effective dialogue surrounding controversial topics. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the GSO. To RSVP,  email scloner@syr.edu by Wednesday, 10/3/18.  Please email scloner@syr.edu if you need any accommodations.

Narcissus, an Autobiography: Evaluating Your Teaching, Friday, October 12, 1:00-2:30 pm in Bowne Hall 105.

  • There is no way to gauge student learning without some form of evaluation; there is no way to improve your teaching without some form of assessment. This workshop will address two key aspects of teaching: ways to address and evaluate student learning from course planning to the final exam, and simultaneously assessing and adapting your teaching to your students’ needs. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the GSO. To RSVP,  email scloner@syr.edu by Wednesday, 10/11/18.  Please email scloner@syr.edu if you need any accommodations.

Opening up Education: Sustainable, Equitable Models of Support for Teaching and Instruction through Use of Open Access and Open Educational Resources, Friday, November 2, 2018, 12:30-2:00 pm in Bowne Hall 105.

  • The landscape of research and teaching are “opening up” in exciting and innovative ways.  More and more teachers and scholars are utilizing Open Access resources to improve and innovate in the classroom.  Open Access and Open Educational Resources are sustainable, digital resources that support author rights, re-use, and economically equitable options for instruction. SU Open Publishing and Copyright Librarian, Amanda Page, will present on these fascinating resources.  Please attend to learn more about scholarly communications, open access, and Open Educational Resources (OER) as resources and tools to use in teaching. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the GSO. To RSVP,  email scloner@syr.edu by Wednesday, 10/31/18.  Please email scloner@syr.edu if you need any accommodations.

Handling the End of the Semester: Dealing with Stress, Promoting Wellness, and Managing your Time Effectively, Friday, November 9, 2018, 1:00-2:30 pm in Hall of Languages 202

  • While the rest of the semester can be stressful, the looming end of the semester can be a particularly trying time for Teaching Assistants. With the increasing demands of students, the additional grading, and your own approaching deadlines, TAs often feel overwhelmed at this time.  In this interactive workshop, doctoral students Caitlin Caron (Special Education) and Sarah Wolf-Stanton (Marriage & Family Therapy) will discuss how TAs can manage these challenges, as well as provide a practical set of tips, techniques, and skills to help TAs manage their time, stress, and achieve a sense of wellness. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the GSO. To RSVP,  email scloner@syr.edu by Wednesday, 11/7/18.  Please email scloner@syr.edu if you need any accommodations.