On Tuesday, I met with twenty-two Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) – first year postgraduate researchers who undertake teaching activities in exchange for an annual scholarship. This annual GTA orientation session provides information about the GTA teaching policy frame work and how the university provides teaching support. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for GTAs to meet each other and consider their hopes and concerns of their new teaching role. Some GTAs start teaching next week, while others will shadow an academic staff member before taking up their teaching role. It was great to meet new students for fields afar: Ghana and Chile, while UK students hail from Sheffield and Northern Ireland. Good to see some Salford students returning for a postgraduate journey too.
We heard some insightful comments from experienced GTAs about time management, prioritising training activities, developing a research and teaching profile, learning to say no and how to live with beau racy!
The other GTAs and staff who will support new GTA teaching provision, came to meet and greet the new GTAs at lunchtime. Some experienced GTAs showed the new GTAs their space back in the schools and teaching areas, great stuff!
The first teaching support for new GTAs starts next Wednesday with a three-day teaching programme, which will support initial teaching activities. GTAs will learn about the practical skills needed for teaching as well as exploring their own values and beliefs and how they might impact on teaching. They will also have their first opportunity to teach with each other, giving and receiving feedback – this should help GTAs to work out what they need next in their teaching development.
It was great to see you all, and thanks to all GTAs and staff that participated – a very lively and stimulating event – take a look at the photos here.