TA Training Program
The Mathematics Department has developed and supported the development of a strong teacher-training program for all graduate teaching assistants (TAs) within the department. The preparation and experience in teaching for TAs has multiple preparatory and observation stages that TAs complete as they qualify for more classroom responsibility assignments over several years. Since some teaching experience is needed by virtually all mathematics graduate students, students holding fellowships, and those who are appointed as graduate research assistants (RAs) on a major professor's grant, work as TAs in some semesters.
Preparation, and the first assignment for all TAs new to the department, is first for duties as Proctor in Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) classrooms. This intensive preparation occurs during the week before classes begin in the Fall semester and participation is required for all departmentally funded students or students with fellowships which will require some teaching. TAs proctor lab classes during their first year and assist an experienced lecturer.
A step-up phase in preparation (occurring in the spring or summer term after each funded student's entry at FSU) involves participating in the semester-long Internship College Teaching Course. In addition to discussions of effective classroom teaching as well as FSU and departmental expectations, this includes small group sessions where the students make presentations with video-taping.
After a TA successfully completes the Internship College Teaching Course and is making satisfactory academic progress with at least eighteen graduate hours of graduate mathematics completed, a TA may be assigned his/her own class while receiving close guidance by peer mentors and experienced faculty. After becoming a doctoral candidate and having successfully taught in this "guided solo" mode, TAs may teach sequence calculus mathematics courses.
We have several awards for our exemplary TA's, including Goodner Teaching Award, Distinguished Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Bettina Zoeller Richmond Award, which carry financial awards.