Training And Support Activities

Training and Support Activities

There are a variety of activities useful for training and supporting teachers of undergraduate mathematics. Below is the beginnings of a taxonomy of such activities. Feel free to add to this list and to add any resources you’ve found helpful.

Teaching Seminars and Courses

Some departments run seminars and courses on mathematics teaching for their faculty and teaching assistants (TAs). Some of these are designed for pre-service TAs, that is, those graduate students who aren’t yet teaching as TAs but soon will be. Others are designed for in-service TAs, that is, those graduate students currently teaching as TAs. Attandance requirements can vary as well. Some teaching courses carry graduate-level course credit. Some are offered by mathematics departments, others by other units on campus such as graduate schools or teaching centers.

Teaching Observations

There’s value in each of the following kinds of teaching observations.

Important components of these observations are

Resources for Observation

Gathering and Analyzing Student Feedback

Gathering and analyzing student feedback often occurs in one of the following ways.

Practice Teaching and Guest Lecturing

Practice teaching involves a teacher giving a partial or complete lesson to a group of peers (and perhaps a few students) and getting feedback on his or her lesson. Often this is done prior to giving a lesson in front of an entire class of students.

Guest lecturing involves a novice teacher giving a full lesson in someone else’s course, often as a way of gaining lecturing and classroom management experience prior to teaching his or her own course.

Course Meetings for Multi-Section Courses

If novice teachers are teaching sections of a coordinated, multi-section course, it is often useful to have regular (weekly or bi-weekly) meetings of all the instructors in the course to discuss lesson planning, teaching and learning goals, and course logistics.