September 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Arts & Sciences Offers New Teaching Workshops and Two Teaching Certificates for Graduate Students

From left, faculty faciliators Lara Wallace, Erik Boczko, Carmelinda Chilelli, Muriel Gallego, and Edna Lima.

From left, faculty facilitators Lara Wallace, Erik Boczko, Carmelinda Chilelli, Muriel Gallego, and Edna Lima.

By Lara Wallace and Muriel Gallego

The College of Arts & Sciences offers a new professional development program to support graduate students through the challenges of teaching. Two Graduate Teaching Certificates and a series of workshops are now available, each providing practical advice on different variables of the profession.

After a successful year of the TA Professional Development Workshop Series in 2015-16, Arts & Sciences faculty members Dr. Muriel Gallego, Associate Professor of Modern Languages, Dr. Erik Boczko, Lecturer in Mathematics, Carmelinda Chilelli, Lecturer in Modern Languages, Dr. Edna Lima, Lecturer in the English Language Improvement Program, and Dr. Lara Wallace, Lecturer in English Language Improvement Program, are continuing the workshop series and piloting a Graduate Teaching Certificate program during 2016-17.

After completing a workshop on creating a Winning Impression in the classroom last March, an enthusiastic attendee shared this feedback in the anonymous workshop evaluation: “This workshop was great! I taught a class immediately after, and I used one of the tips suggested by the facilitators, and it worked! My students magically had questions to ask me. I really hope workshops like this will be offered more often: one thing is to be prepared on a content area, another is to know how to present it to an audience.” Such affirming feedback from the participants was pivotal for the continuation of the workshop series and in the creation of the Graduate Teaching Certificate programs.

For those who are new to teaching, standing at the front of the classroom can be a daunting experience regardless of how well they know the content. Although several departments offer some TA training, others do not, leaving new TAs to “sink or swim” during their first semester.

Indicative from the comment above, last year’s workshops were very well received and more importantly, their content was useful and immediately applicable. After completing the final workshop of the semester, one attendee wrote, “[An] activity I really liked was during the Winning Impression workshop where we videotaped ourselves. It was very helpful because I would never videotape myself, and upon reviewing my video, I realized that I did a lot of things that weren’t conducive to a “winning impression” in teaching (use of “um”, talking too fast, etc..) In the Classroom Management [workshop], I thought the part about using humor was informative, especially that sarcasm should be avoided. I have this [workshop’s materials] saved to my desktop!” commented Janson Campbell, an M.A. student-Modern Languages.

This year’s workshop series will be similar to last year’s, and just as practical. Topics include classroom management, how to prepare for the job market, creating a winning impression in the classroom, becoming a more effective and less-stressed TA—how to manage your time and responsibilities, and micro-teaching scenarios. The series will be offered both in the fall and spring semester.

This year, graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences now have more opportunity for professional development through the new Graduate Teaching Certificate program. Many universities in the United States offer graduate teaching certificates. Because of the wide recognition of their value, Ohio University recipients will be more competitive in the job market and/or with continuing their higher education.

There will be two types of certificates available for graduate students, the Graduate Teaching Certificate, and the Advanced Graduate Teaching Certificate. While both certificates share some of the requisites, the Advanced Graduate Teaching Certificate is geared toward graduate students who are holding a TA position and officiating as instructor of record for the courses they teach, and the Graduate Teaching Certificate is available to any graduate student in the college. These two certificate programs are non-academic and will not appear in the students’ transcripts. They are, however, a great asset and a wonderful opportunity for professional development as they will enhance teaching skills, help prepare graduate students for the job market, and contribute to the quality of education that our TAs offer to Ohio University.


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