Teaching Assistant Fellows
In the Teaching Assistant (TA) Fellows Program, experienced graduate TAs serve as TA Fellows for their options, dedicating time and discipline-specific effort to supporting, enhancing training, and mentoring TAs in their option. The TA
Fellows are like TAs for TAs, about teaching in the option and discipline.
The TA Fellows Program represents a collaboration between CTLO and participating departments
- TA Fellow Training: late Aug./early Sept (1-2 days).
The training Introduces TA Fellows to research-based strategies for supporting TAs, designing and conducting workshops, coaching TAs on teaching through practice teaching and recitation/office hours observations, and contributing to a positive teaching culture in their options.
- Ongoing mentoring and oversight, including regular individual check-ins (every two to three weeks) and quarterly discussions with other TA Fellows. This includes feedback on detailed plans, suggestions for programming, help with troubleshooting, and other emergent topics.
- Program evaluation and coordination : collecting and summarizing program-wide impacts and supporting teaching fellows on option-specific assessment.
- Event funding: CTLO may be able to supplement teaching fellow budgets if they would like to plan larger events.
- Selects and appoints TA fellow: Option selects level of commitment suitable to their goals, with input by the Executive Office, Option Rep, and /or administrative staff (suggested: 5 hours per week, ongoing throughout the academic year).
- Meets periodically to provide input: Selected option-level contacts (EO and/or Option Rep, along with a main administrative contact) meet at least quarterly with the TA fellow, including providing input on initial plans and feedback on activities throughout the year. An administrative contact is available to assist the teaching fellow with reserving space, ordering supplies/food for events, contacting TAs, and other logistics.
- Provides modest funding for small-scale events and meetings: While not necessary in all cases, a modest budget that the TA fellow can draw upon for refreshments or supplies for TA events can be very helpful and contribute to their success.
TA Fellow Goals and Logistics
- Augmenting and improving discipline-specific TA training.
- Providing ongoing support and feedback to TAs in the option.
- Providing focused work on option-wide teaching initiatives, curriculum changes, and/or course-level innovations.
- Successful prior experience as a TA at Caltech.
- Ability to articulate their approach to/philosophy of teaching in their field.
- Interest in learning new, evidence-based approaches to teaching in their field.
- Interest in learning to coach and advise TAs on teaching in ways that help develop their strengths, philosophy, and evidence-based approaches to teaching.
- Commitment to plan and carry out a suite of offerings in the department in a timely way, with clear communication to both the option and to CTLO.
- Willingness to receive feedback on their work as a teaching fellow and to continually improve their methods and ideas.