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Teaching Assistant Services

Overhead shot of students working together.

TA Orientation

Each fall the center, in conjunction with the three schools, organizes an orientation for teaching assistant (TAs). This orientation introduces new and returning TAs to the teaching culture at UC Merced. General questions such as “What is college teaching?” and "Who are UC Merced students?" will be addressed. In addition, the orientation will cover important pedagogical principles, classroom dynamics, course planning and other teaching strategies. On-going support services for TAs are available at the center throughout the year.

Teaching Matters Workshops

Throughout the academic year, the center offers various workshops focused on the scholarship of teaching, including topics like active learning, working with ESL students, using scoring rubrics and others. Please check the workshop calendar for more details about upcoming workshops.

Individual Consultations

Personalized teaching consultations are available to individual TAs who would like help in the following areas:

  • Clarifying learning objectives and outcomes
  • Using active learning techniques in the classroom
  • Videotaping a class session
  • Managing classroom crises
  • Developing tools for assessment and evaluation
  • Other issues related to classroom teaching

These consultations are designed to give new and experienced TAs feedback on their teaching, and to provide an opportunity to discuss teaching strategies in relation to classroom teaching goals. TAs who are teaching in a new format or setting, or are unaccustomed to the American classroom, or are simply interested in improving their teaching are also encouraged to use this resource to consider different techniques in light of their pedagogical goals. Any TA who is teaching a course or planning to teach a course may choose to consult the Center on issues related to classroom teaching. For an appointment, please email the center at cetl@ucmerced.edu or call 209-228-7950.

Resources

  • Tomorrow's Professor is sponsored by Stanford University's Center for Teaching and Learning, and provides twice weekly posts regarding issues related to the academy, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, academic careers, teaching and learning and research. You can subscribe to its mailing list, which will automatically send you these postings via email.
  • UC Berkeley's Teaching and Resource Center for Graduate Student Instructor is a comprehensive one-stop shop for all things related to graduate teaching assistants, including an extensive teaching guide covering various teaching-related topics.
  • Preparing Future Faculty is a national network on programs for the preparation for the full range of faculty roles subsumed by the terms teaching, research and service.
  • Association for Support of Graduate Students is a service organization of graduate students, graduate-student organizations (GSOs) and graduate-degree-granting institutions. Thesis News and Doc-Talk might be of interest to teaching assistants.
  • Gradshare is an online communicate that offers guidance on the full breadth of the graduate experience, such as dissertation topic selection, grants, financial aid and work-life balance. Students can find and share advice on research, writing, publishing, job search and other topics that help them become more effective in their work.
  • Graduate Student Resources is a resource for getting in, getting through and getting out of graduate school.
  • Jobs in Higher Education is an online resource for the academic job hunter.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education Career Network has advice columns, news and job listings in higher education.
  • Academic Careers Online is a global academic job site to advertise job openings, find jobs or post resumes in higher education and academia. It includes full and part-time teaching, post doc and administrative jobs at colleges and universities around the world.