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  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical

    State University

    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical

    State University

    GRADUATE TEACHINGASSISTANT HANDBOOKGRADUATE TEACHINGASSISTANT HANDBOOK

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Handbook

    Produced byA. Ayanna Boyd-Williams

    Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies

    Graphic Design by Vicki Cruise

  • IINorth Carolina A&T State University

    Graduate Teaching Assistant HandbookTABLE OF CONTENTS

    FORWARD: GREETING FROM THE DEAN OF GRADUATE STUDIES...................................V

    INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................1

    SECTION I: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT (GTA) ATNC A&T STATE UNIVERSITY.....................................................................1

    Types of GTA Roles and Duties.......................................................2Standards for GTAs Knowledge, Skills & Attitudes Necessary to Be an Effective GTA ....................................................................4Setting Boundaries and Limits .........................................................9

    SECTION II: INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS....................................10

    Language Requirements ................................................................10Cultural Dimensions.......................................................................10Benefits of Having a Mentor...........................................................11Resources For Additional Advice ...................................................13

    SECTION III: FOUNDATIONS OF GOOD TEACHING .........................................................14

    The 10 Commandments of Teaching.............................................15Effective Instruction........................................................................15Traits of Effective Teachers............................................................18What Can Graduate Students Do To Be More Effective GTA s ?....20Modes of Teaching.........................................................................21Dimensions of Effective Teaching ..................................................22Teaching Methods and Active Learning .........................................23Tying Teaching Methods to Objectives .........................................24Classroom Situations to Consider .................................................26

    SECTION IV: GETTING STARTED.................................................................................28

    Orientation to Teaching at N. C. A&T State University...................28Checklist for Teaching....................................................................29Establishing the Classroom Climate ..............................................33Course Planning & Design.............................................................35Suggestions for the First Day of Class ..........................................37Diversity in the Classroom .............................................................39

  • III

    SECTION V. HELPING STUDENTS LEARN ....................................................................44

    Helping Students Learn..................................................................44How Students Learn.......................................................................46Learning Styles and Preferences...................................................46Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education ............47Cooperative Learning.....................................................................51Adults as Learners .........................................................................52Time Management in the Classroom.............................................53

    SECTION VI. MULTIPLE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES, SITUATIONS, TECHNIQUES, TECHNOLOGIES, AND TOOLS ...................................................................54

    Teaching With Technology .............................................................54Media/Audio-Visual Aids ............................................................55Computers and Instruction.........................................................59

    Incorporating Instructional Technology ..........................................61Additional Resources on Teaching & Learning..............................61Teaching Through Discussion........................................................63Planning a Class (Lecture Guidelines) ..........................................64Teaching Laboratory Sections........................................................70Safety Considerations....................................................................73Strategies to Enhance Learning.....................................................75Teaching Strategies for a Diverse Student Body ...........................78Using Your Voice Effectively ..........................................................79

    SECTION VII: GRADES AND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.................................................81

    Testing and Grading.......................................................................81Evaluating Student Performance ...................................................94Keeping Records ...........................................................................95Advising Students ..........................................................................97The Role of the TA as a Faculty-Student Liaison ..........................98Recommending ESL for International Students .............................99The Teacher - Student Relationship.............................................100

    SECTION VIII: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT..............................................................102

    Reflective Practice .......................................................................104Feedback from your Students ..................................................105Links to Additional Resources .................................................107

    Instructional Support and Services offered at NC A&TState University ............................................................................108Further Reading for Professional Development...........................110Contact Information for Professional Development .....................110Preparing a Teaching Portfolio .....................................................111

  • IV

    SECTION IX: UNIVERSITY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES RELATED TO GTAS ...................114

    GTAAdministration Policy ............................................................114Purpose ........................................................................................114

    Categories ................................................................................115Eligibility ...................................................................................115Appointment .............................................................................116Performance Review................................................................117Conduct & Discipline................................................................117Compensation ..........................................................................117

    Grievance Procedures .................................................................118Guidelines Regarding GTA Qualifications ....................................118Professional/Ethical/Legal Responsibilities ..................................118Safety and Emergency Procedures .............................................120University-Based Technology Transfer ........................................123Student Initiated Programs and Unfunded Projects .....................124

    SECTION X: HOW TO HELP GTAS BE SUCCESSFUL .................................................125

    Checklist for the Supervising Professor.......................................125GTA-to-GTAAdvice ......................................................................126Additional On-line Resources for Teaching..................................127Balancing Your Roles...................................................................128Frequently Asked Questions by TAs............................................129

    REFERENCE GUIDE TO CAMPUS RESOURCES............................................................131

    APPENDIX A: N.C. A&T STATE UNIVERSITY GRADUATE ASSISTANT EVALUATIONFORM..................................................................................................134

    INDEX..................................................................................................................................135

  • V

    Congratulations on becoming a graduate teaching assistant at North Carolina A&T StateUniversity. This is a unique opportunity to grow professionally and we hope to make it as valuable an experience as possible.

    We believe graduate teaching assistants play a vital role in educating undergraduate students at A&T and recognize the value of the experience that graduate teaching assistants gain as they develop and refine their teaching skills. We also acknowledge the challenges thatgraduate teaching assistants face as they serve in a teaching role while balancing their owncourse loads in graduate studies.

    The Office of Graduate Studies and members of the Teaching Assistant AdvisoryCommittee have worked diligently to develop a handbook that is pertinent, comprehensive, and offers advice and guidance on issues that affect graduate teaching assistants in general. Wehope you find it a valuable tool as you make your way into what can be an enriching experiencein your academic career.

    Good luck, and I hope you

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