Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Post 29: TACs, and our new one!

The first day of the TA Conference yesterday was fantastic, and I'll post a short review very soon. In light of the conference and all things themed TA, let's talk about TACs! What are they, what do they do?

A TAC is a Teaching Assistant Consultant. They are an immense resource for all the TAs and graduate students in a given department, and regularly offer workshops for graduate student and TA professional development during the year. They undergo a fair amount of training at the Learning and Teaching Centre, so they are able to expertly share their knowledge and help graduate students learn more about teaching and TAing, and generally, professional development in academia. Her first workshop will be next week on Monday, September 8th, from 2:30-4:00PM, and will be "Facilitating discussions and establishing positive tutorial dynamics." Location: In the Dry Lab.

In Environmental Studies last week, we all received an introductory email from our new TAC, Anita Girvan! Anita is an interdisciplinary PhD student who is also a TA in The Environmental Studies Department.

Our lovely TAC: Anita Girvan!
A couple of words from her welcoming message:
"My name is Anita Girvan and I have the privilege of being the (first ever!) T.A. Consultant in the School of Environmental Studies for the 2014-15 academic year. This is a position supporting in part through the Learning and Teaching Centre at UVic.

My role is to support TAs  in diverse ways including (from the job description):
'Developing discipline-specific seminars designed for TAs in department; facilitating their professional development; helping with one-on-one consultations; providing advice and referral to appropriate campus resources; liaising with faculty.'"

Many departments have their own TAC; some don't yet. Have a look at the list of current TACs for 2014-2015. If you see that your department doesn't yet have one, have a passion for sharing knowledge and experiences, and you are an experienced TA, consider starting a discussion with Cynthia Korpan, who director of the LTC to see if you might be a good fit for being your department's inaugural TAC!

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