Campus Climate

Campus is a large and complicated space, and the lessons contained in formal curriculum are only part of what students will come away from university having learned from and been changed by. This theme helps you to consider how you can contribute to a campus climate that supports positive change, and a beneficial impact on student well being – including your own.

In order to complete the theme, you much register for and complete each of the sessions listed below. In addition, you must complete the pre-session module before the institute begins, and the post session module after the final session in the theme. If you complete the whole theme, you will be eligible for a signed letter of completion on this theme to be placed in your Teaching Portfolio.

Trans Literacies

The Promoting Trans Literacies workshop explores how Teaching Assistants can develop safer, more trans-inclusive pedagogical practices in their various role(s) in the classroom and on campus so that students of all genders have equitable access to learning environments. Using case studies drawn from real-life student experiences, this workshop helps participants learn to understand and identify trans-oppressive practices at the university and in the classroom and also offers tools for countering these practices.

The 2017 TA Institute has ended. For details on this workshop, see it’s event description.

Unsettling Classroom Guidelines

Classroom guidelines, ground rules, or agreements are tools often used by educators in different settings with the intent to keep discussions focused and productive, invite inclusive participation, and establish a “safe” learning environment. At the same time, anti-oppression educators Sensoy and DiAngelo (2014) have argued that classroom guidelines sometimes serve contrary goals because when they fail to recognize and respond to issues of power and social position, thereby creating unsafe and silencing environments for students who are not part of the dominant group or who are underrepresented in dominant discourses.

The 2017 TA Institute has ended. For details on this workshop, see it’s event description.

Graduate Student Mental Health

Do you ever feel like you don’t belong in grad school? Like everyone around you is smarter, more qualified, more pulled together? Do you ever feel overwhelmed as a TA and feel like the students can see right through you? The responsibilities of being a grad student can be intense and leave us feeling like an impostor both as a grad student and as a TA. In this workshop, we will address raising self-awareness on “impostor syndrome”, identify strategies for self-care, as well as identifying strategies for preparation for teaching in the classroom and navigating life as a grad student.

The 2017 TA Institute has ended. For details on this workshop, see it’s event description.

Please note – In order to qualify for the letter of completion for this theme:

  1. You must attend and complete all three of the sessions listed above
  2. The pre-session work must be completed before 8:00 am on January 10, 2017
  3. The post-session work must be completed between 5:30 pm on January 12 and 5:30 pm on January 23


Pre-session work


Post-session work