Graduate Student Development

In collaboration with UT’s academic departments and graduate student support organizations, the Graduate Student Development program provides opportunities to advance graduate students’ pedagogical, academic, and professional progress. The GSD Program is an initiative of the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Faculty Innovation Center.

Graduate Student Teaching Showcase

On Friday, April 22, we partnered with UT Libraries to host our first Graduate Student Teaching Showcase! Graduate student alumni from our course “GRS 097: Fundamentals for Teaching Assistants” competed for a chance to present and to win a $50 prize. We selected an outstanding group of presenters from a wide range of disciplines who each told us a story about teaching.

Adena Rivera-Dundas, English, shared her experiences using student presentations in the classroom, and how those presentations can be so rewarding for students, but also carry with them some real risks, such as student complacency and conversations drifting significantly off-topic.

Angelina Dichiera, Marine Science, uses tools such as humor and sharing her experience in the field to connect to her undergrads. Angelina showed us some great SpongeBob and “The Office” memes and other tools she has used to relate to her students to make teaching and learning a more fulfilling experience.

Corrie Jacobs, English, shared her challenges associated with teaching an inherently problematic but canonical text, Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” and shared some of the creative ways she has handled this in her classroom.

Krittika Krishnan, Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience, her experiences getting students to think critically about research ethics by going off the beaten debate path. Krittika shared a method for debating about the “Tearoom Trade” experiment that allowed students to explore perspectives of various stakeholders.

Attendees participated in lightning rounds of discussion after each presentation. Department of English graduate student and past GRS 097 instructor Laura Thain offered some valuable final reflections on the presentations and used the lens of the five canons of rhetoric to tie together some themes that arose across them.

We celebrated the achievements of these presenters and of our graduate students with a reception and door prizes! UT Rec Sports donated great prizes to the event, including a TeXercise pass and a Climbing Wall that five lucky grad students took home. The University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) and UT Libraries Scholars Commons helped us celebrate by giving away t-shirts and tote bags.

Becoming a College Teacher

We have integrated the content from Becoming a College Teacher into this website.  The site contained such relevant pedagogical content that we found it useful for everyone. We provided links to the main sections in the sidebar.

We know there are times when graduate students may be dealing with unique situations, so we created "Tips for Graduate Student Instructors" in the sidebar for those situations.  For example, Teaching with Technology offers tips for using technology for professional development.

Teaching Preparation Certificate for Non-Classroom Teaching Assistants

In collaboration with the Sanger Learning Center, we offer a series of active learning sessions each semester that are designed to help non-classroom TAs (TAs who act as graders and hold office hours but do not lead lab/discussion sections) develop skills specific to their teaching roles. These sessions address issues such as efficient grading and communication with students, and they provide opportunities to practice teaching and develop a teaching statement for the job market. A certificate of completion will be awarded upon participation in three of the four sessions. Learn More about this opportunity and register to attend.

Individual Consultation

GSIs commonly find instructional coaching helpful during their teaching career at UT-Austin. We are devoted to GSI-specific teaching needs are available to support and advise you on all aspects of teaching such as syllabus and instructional activity design, effective classroom management, and even strategies for inspiring (or re-inspiring) you and your students.

Email consulting requests to gsiprogram@austin.utexas.edu

What one participant had to say:

"Thank you so much for taking your time to brainstorm with me about my TA sessions. You were very kind and you are excellent at your job. Today I tried for the first time some interaction during my discussions - on the lines we discussed and I will keep trying...there is room for improvement."

Midterm Assessment Consulting

Frequent feedback from students helps instructors meet students’ needs. We are available to meet with GSIs interested in designing their own feedback instruments, or to discuss the use of other assessment tools. Our staff can also assist with planning formative and summative assessments, creating rubrics, analyzing exam questions, and interpreting results.

Email consulting requests to gsiprogram@austin.utexas.edu

What participants had to say: 

"I can't thank you enough for taking the time to meet with me and for being so helpful. I also appreciate how comfortable and easy you made the whole experience. I was nervous going in and you immediately gave me the sense that you were going to help me and you did."

"This is excellent information, you did an excellent job, thank you. I am very pleased to see these constructive remarks and I see some directions for improvement."

Teaching Philosophy Working Groups

A teaching philosophy is a reflection on your beliefs about teaching and learning and how you put those beliefs into practice. They are increasingly required by faculty search committees. We are available to assist individuals or groups of graduate students in preparing these documents.  These working groups are designed to share tips, strategies, and provide feedback for successfully crafting a teaching philosophy. Learn More 

Email consulting requests to gsiprogram@austin.utexas.edu

What one participant had to say:

“Thanks for your detailed feedback on our teaching philosophies earlier in the semester. It is hard to get candid and detailed feedback on things like that, but I am amazed at how much attention you and your colleague gave to my statement. This feedback has been a huge help for me.”

Academic Employment at UT Austin

Graduate students may be appointed as a Teaching Assistant, Assistant Instructor, Graduate Research Assistant, Academic Assistant, Assistant (Graduate) or Tutor (Graduate) for up to 14 long semesters while pursuing a graduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin.

Visit the graduate student employment website for more information.

If you have any questions please email: gsiprogram@austin.utexas.edu or call (512) 232-5181. 

Visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get more information about upcoming opportunities (such as presentations offered at UT Austin about effective teaching techniques, fellowships for graduate students, etc.) and to connect with other graduate student instructors.