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TA End of Semester Survival Skills Lisa Kelly Center for Teaching October 31 st, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "TA End of Semester Survival Skills Lisa Kelly Center for Teaching October 31 st, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 TA End of Semester Survival Skills Lisa Kelly Center for Teaching October 31 st, 2013

2 Warm Up Activity  On the notecard provided, write two things that you are most concerned about relating to your teaching, coursework, or work/life balance as the end of the semester approaches  Share your concerns with the person next to you. Spend a few minutes brainstorming ideas to help with one another’s concerns. (Be sure to introduce yourself to your partner)  Hand in your notecards – I will look over these throughout the workshop and try to address as many concerns as possible

3 Agenda  Warm up activity (done)  Grading Strategies (think/pair/share)  Communication Issues (case studies)  Work/Life Balance (discussion)  Wrap Up  Discussion about CfT Graduate Programs starting in spring 2014  Workshop Evaluation

4 Grading Strategies Best practices for surviving increased end-of-semester grading

5 Think/Pair/Share  Read through the handout – A Baker’s Dozen Strategies for Grading Final Exams and Papers. Pick one practice that you find to be useful and spend a few minutes writing about how and why you can use this practice  Get in groups of three (cannot be with the person you met earlier). Pick one practice to discuss as a group. Discuss why it would be useful for your classes and how you will implement it.  Make sure you introduce yourself to the others in your group  Each group will report their discussion to the larger group

6 Issues in Communication How to communicate effectively with your students, other TAs, and the instructor of the course

7 Communication Triangle Course Professor Teaching Assistant(s) Students

8 Communications Case Studies  In groups of 3 (try to work with people you have not yet met or worked with today) read your assigned case study  Answer the questions posed at the end of the case study. Brainstorm some suggestions to help the TA.  Be ready to share your case study and responses with the larger group

9 Work/Life Balance… Or how to avoid letting grad school take over your entire life

10 Does grad school make you feel like this?

11 Strategies for Maintaining Balance During the Last Weeks of the Semester  Set a timer to make yourself take breaks during grading and paper writing. When you take a break do something physically active.  Sleep – power naps (20 minutes) are great. Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep at night too.  Set limits on when you check and respond to email, tell your students these limits ahead of time.  Decide on a cut off time for student requests for help before the final exam or paper deadline- don’t respond to students after this time except in extreme emergencies.

12 Strategies continued  Have grading or writing “parties” with your peers. Working with someone else will help keep you focused, but will also allow for fun breaks.  Map out a plan now for your schedule during the last two weeks of the semester. Work backwards from your deadlines (for the courses you are teaching and the ones you are taking) and try to estimate how much time you need to devote to each requirement.  Spend at least one hour each day doing something fun – dinner with a friend, watching trash TV, going for a run, baking a pie, etc.

13 More Strategies???  What ideas do you have for maintaining a healthy work/life balance during stressful periods?  If you have already taught, what has worked for you in the past? What has not worked?

14 Wrap Up  Review key concerns from warm up notecards  Teaching strategies modeled today:  Warm up activity  Think/Pair/Share  Case Studies and discussion  Large group discussion

15 Coming Soon…  Graduate Student Teaching and Learning Reading Group – monthly cross-disciplinary reading group; we will read and discuss important current literature in teaching and learning  TA Troubleshooting Roundtables – monthly lunchtime meetings to discuss issues that come up while teaching  TA Resources Blog (coming in November) – a resource for TAs with strategies for teaching, links to CfT events, and a discussion forum for addressing TA issues

16 Coming Soon… January 14 th 2014 TA “Spring Training”  Panel discussion on teaching as professional development (making the most of your TA assignments for your CV, keeping and organizing evidence of teaching, teaching as research, and teaching your research)  Workshop on crafting quality daily lesson objectives and lesson plans for discussion sections, labs, and courses you are teaching

17 TILE and Active, Team Based Learning Training for TAs  Are you a TA for a TILE class?  Are you interested in using technology in the classroom?  Do you want to learn more about creating active-learning and/or team-based learning activities for your discussion sections or courses you are creating?  This workshop will guide TAs toward creating specific learning activities for their students as well as training them in TILE technology and pedagogy  Keep an eye out for more information – this workshop will be happening in early February

18 Coming Soon… Spring 2014 TA Workshop Series January 2014 Leading an Effective Discussion Section February 2014 Managing Labs and Problem Set Sections Effectively March 2014 Working with Student Writing April 2014 Creating an Inclusive Classroom Environment

19 Social Media Shout Out  The Center for Teaching Graduate Program is on Twitter!!  Follow us at Center for Teaching@UICfT  Or better yet – tweet at us with your ideas and questions

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