ERIC Number: ED213046
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Training GTA's to Teach: Persona, Personality, and Policy.
The first identity new graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) must adopt is the "instructor" persona, which must be carried out with confidence and competence if their freshmen students are to accept them as qualified instructors. For those GTAs who are uncomfortable with this persona, the faculty supervisor can provide them with a detailed teaching plan for the first few classes. Also, an early visit by the supervisor to the GTA's classroom tends to rally the students around the GTA, thus improving self-confidence. The second role is the "human" persona, which must show sympathy, patience, and understanding for students as well as provide practical advice during the writing experience. To ensure this, GTAs might be required to perform the same writing assignments they will give their students, so that they will personally experience many of the obstacles that their students will encounter. A classroom visit while students are writing first drafts will allow the faculty supervisor to observe the GTA's answers to student questions. The third identity GTAs must assume is the "departmental" persona, in which they enforce departmental policy and course regulations. To help GTAs with the moral dilemma of grading, supervisors should mark the first few assignments without assigning grades. When grades are finally assigned, the GTAs should be required to write an end comment that explains the grade, which obligates them to clarify the grading criteria for themselves as well as their students. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).