January 2024 TA Institute Themes

The January 2024 TA Institute runs from January 15-19 in-person and online and is open to any graduate student who is interested in teaching or TAing. The institute is also open to undergraduate TAs. This year, workshops in the TA institute are organized into 3 themes. If you complete all the workshops in a theme, and submit a theme completion form, you are eligible for a Letter of Completion that you can include in your Teaching Portfolio and CV. The Letter of Completion will include a brief description of the theme(s) that you completed, and how the work you did in the theme(s) support your development as a teacher.

TA Institute participants who meet the eligibility criteria for a Completion Letter will be receiving their letters by the end of March (see below for the eligibility criteria). If you meet the eligibility criteria and have any questions about the status of your letter after that date, please contact CTLT.TAInstitute@ubc.ca.

Eligibility Criteria:

During the Institute (January 15 to 19, 2024):

  • Fully attend all sessions under each theme you want to complete (this means arriving on time and participating until the end of the session).

After the Institute (complete by January 24, 2024 at 11:59 PM):

  • Submit a theme completion form (only complete this form once—make sure to indicate all themes and all sessions that you have completed).

  1. Fundamentals of TAship

Sessions included in this theme:

This theme is the complete package for new and experienced TAs, as it conveniently comprises important instructional and supportive skills that every TA should know to fulfill their duties. In your role as a TA, it is important to remember that your responsibilities include supporting your instructor, supporting your students, and supporting yourself. Sessions within this theme will prepare you for your TAship in all aspects, including working with faculty members, cultivating a classroom environment, creating effective learning environments for your students, and managing your own TA roles and responsibilities. Sessions within this theme are not only useful to new TAs and those new to teaching, but also to returning TAs and those with teaching experience.

  1. Exploring and Supporting Inclusivity, Equity, Accessibility and Wellness

Sessions included in this theme:

Creating and maintaining a classroom environment centered around student inclusivity, accessibility, and wellness is a key component of any classroom, whether you are a course instructor or a TA. As a TA, you are the essential pillar of communication between your students and the instructor. Therefore, you must consider the importance of your highly student-interactive role in monitoring and ensuring that your students feel included and supported; however, many TAs are unequipped with the tools required for such an important task. Sessions in this theme will help you both reflect on and develop concrete strategies for supporting your students’ wellbeing as well as help you to understand the value in creating an inclusive, equitable and accessible class.

  1. Experiential and Transformative Learning

Sessions included in this theme:

Interdisciplinary and experiential approaches to teaching foster students’ collaborative skills and analytical skills. Engaging with experiential learning and working across disciplines allows for a holistic approach to learning that considers real-world issues, leading to more impactful learning experiences. How can one plan for these comprehensive learning experiences, and how will you know they are impactful? The sessions in this theme will not only help you explore those questions, but they will also help you build lesson planning and decision-making strategies as a TA so that you can create impactful interdisciplinary and experiential learning experiences in your classroom.