Purpose: to enhance teaching and professional development among graduate teaching assistants, instructors, lecturers, and faculty through conversations focused on issues of interest in the GSU English community. The primary goal for TAs and faculty in these sessions is to emphasize multiple views and methods for teaching in the Lower Division, both composition and literature. Graduate students who are not currently teaching in the Department may also join a Mentoring Session.
Conversations will include the following topics: observations and feedback; teaching portfolios; annual reports; general and specific conversations about teaching, learning, building syllabi, assessment, lessons and teaching activities; as well as how to juggle teaching and professional writing, presenting at conferences, studying for comprehensive exams, developing a CV, going on the job search, and other professional development topics.
The Plan: to hold seminars, talks, and workshops that include a faculty member or experienced TA, and approximately eight to ten community members.
The goal is for all TAs to attend four sessions per semester. Since TAs will be presenting at some of the sessions, they will have the opportunity to build their CV and mentoring experience as well as receive credit for attending one session because of their participation in facilitating the session.
Each semester, the community will include, among other things, the following in its discussions:
• Sharing of syllabi, teaching goals, outcomes, assessment, and ideas for classroom activities;
• Organizing observations of teaching whereby each TA observes another member of the community and is observed by at least one other member of the community. Each observation will be described in writing and discussed in the group. These observations will be included in teaching portfolios;
• Reviewing teaching portfolios and annual reports and suggesting revisions;
• Discussing issues of professional development and pedagogy important to members of the community;
• Writing a response at the end of each semester reflecting on their experiences in the sessions.