As a Graduate Instructional Developer who works mainly with CTE’s Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program, I have the privilege of observing graduate students teach in classrooms across campus. Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to observe over 35 classes taught by graduate students in all six faculties. I have been incredibly impressed by the quality of teaching by graduate students. They have taken concepts from CTE workshops (e.g., active learning, group work, formative assessment) and applied them directly in their teaching. They are using innovative teaching strategies, technologies, and engaging students in their lessons. The University of Waterloo community should be proud of graduate students’ dedication to, and passion for, teaching.
So how can we support graduate students in continuing to develop their teaching skills?
- I think many of us would agree the best way to improve our teaching is to practice. In some departments, it’s difficult for graduate students to access teaching opportunities, but guest lectures are a great way to gain experience. If you’re teaching, consider asking the graduate students you supervise and/or your Teaching Assistants whether they’re interested in giving a guest lecture in the course.
- If you feel comfortable, you can also provide them with feedback on their teaching. If they’re involved in CTE’s Certificate in University Teaching program, you can be their observer for their required teaching practicum.
- If you know a talented Teaching Assistant or graduate student instructor, please nominate them for an award! Information regarding Graduate Student Teaching Awards can be difficult to find, so I’ve compiled a list here. If you know of any that are missing from this list, please post a comment and we will add them.
Graduate Student Teaching Awards
A) University-wide teaching awards
Amit & Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (deadline: February)
B) Faculty-wide teaching awards
C) Department teaching awards
- Applied Mathematics (each term)
- Biology – “Outstanding Graduate/Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship Award” (no link available)
- Chemistry (each term)
- Civil & Environmental Engineering (Fall term)
- Combinatorics and Optimization (each term)
- Computer Science
- School of Public Health and Health Systems (Spring term)
- Statistics & Actuarial Sciences
Teaching Resources for Graduate Students: