TA Orientation

2018 TA Orientation

2020-2021 TA Orientation - Save the Date

The campus wide TA Orientation for all new Teaching Assistants will be held on Monday, September 28, and Tuesday, September 29, 2020. All TAs who have not yet attended the UC Davis TA Orientation are required to do so by the University of California Office of the President and UC Davis Graduate Studies, even if they have taught previously. This orientation is different and in addition to your department orientation. The goal of this requirement is to help graduate students develop as instructors and effectively teach our undergraduates. 

TA Orientation is designed to help graduate students succeed in their role as TAs at UC Davis by introducing them to the principles and practices of effective teaching. In-person sessions emphasize practical teaching skills and strategies, and include topics such as establishing a positive classroom atmosphere on the first day, leading effective discussions, presenting information clearly, and grading efficiently. Pre-registration is required. Registration closes September 11th, 2020 at 5PM PST. 

Register

Note: We are actively exploring TAO in a remote setting based on input from campus leadership. This will not affect the registration process, however. Specific event information will be sent on September 17th, 2020 or as details become available. The message will be sent to the participant’s UC Davis email address used during registration. 

TAO Program Schedule

ProgramDay
Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry Monday, September 28, 2020
Pharmacology and Toxicology Monday, September 28, 2020
Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Monday, September 28, 2020
Integrative Genetics and Genomics Monday, September 28, 2020
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Monday, September 28, 2020
Communication Monday, September 28, 2020
Chemical Engineering Monday, September 28, 2020
Materials Science and Engineering Monday, September 28, 2020
Chemistry Monday, September 28, 2020
Pharmaceutical Chemistry Monday, September 28, 2020
Classics Monday, September 28, 2020
French and Italian Monday, September 28, 2020
German and Russian Monday, September 28, 2020
Comparative Literature Monday, September 28, 2020
Food Science Monday, September 28, 2020
Sociology Monday, September 28, 2020
Forensic Science Monday, September 28, 2020
Civil and Environmental Engineering Monday, September 28, 2020
Biomedical Engineering Monday, September 28, 2020
Community Development Monday, September 28, 2020
Avian Sciences Monday, September 28, 2020
Computer Science Monday, September 28, 2020
Biostatistics Monday, September 28, 2020
Statistics Monday, September 28, 2020
Ecology Monday, September 28, 2020
Ecology (Joint program with SDSU) Monday, September 28, 2020
Environmental Policy and Management Monday, September 28, 2020
Population Biology Monday, September 28, 2020
Education (Credential with M.A.) Monday, September 28, 2020
Education (Doctor of Philosophy) Monday, September 28, 2020
Education (Master of Arts) Monday, September 28, 2020
Educational Leadership (Capital Area North Doctorate in Educational Monday, September 28, 2020
International Agricultural Development Monday, September 28, 2020
Native American Studies Monday, September 28, 2020
Neuroscience Monday, September 28, 2020
Master's Entry Program in Nursing Monday, September 28, 2020
Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership (Doctor of Philosophy) Monday, September 28, 2020
Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership (Master of Science) Monday, September 28, 2020
Physician Assistant Studies Monday, September 28, 2020
Philosophy Monday, September 28, 2020
Psychology Monday, September 28, 2020
Study of Religion Monday, September 28, 2020
International Commercial Law Monday, September 28, 2020
Master of Laws Monday, September 28, 2020
Spanish and Portuguese Monday, September 28, 2020
Applied Mathematics Monday, September 28, 2020
Mathematics Monday, September 28, 2020
Animal Behavior Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Applied Science Engineering Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Art Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Atmospheric Science Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Hydrologic Sciences Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Soils and Biogeochemistry Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Child Development Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Human Development Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Clinical Research Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Health Informatics Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Public Health Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Dramatic Art Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Performance Studies Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Economics Tuesday, September 29, 2020
English Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Creative Writing (GECW) Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Entomology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Geography Tuesday, September 29, 2020
History Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Music Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Political Science Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Textiles Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Biophysics Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Energy Systems Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Transportation Technology and Policy Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Cultural Studies Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Linguistics Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Animal Biology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Anthropology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Art History Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Biological Systems Engineering Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Business Administration Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Business Analytics Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Master of Professional Accountancy Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Maternal and Child Nutrition Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Nutritional Biology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Agricultural and Resource Economics Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Design Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Electrical and Computer Engineering Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Epidemiology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Integrative Pathobiology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Preventative Veterinary Medicine Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Immunology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Geology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Horticulture and Agronomy Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Microbiology (SOM) Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Plant Biology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Plant Pathology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Viticulture and Enology Tuesday, September 29, 2020
,

TAO FAQ

Background

  • Will TAO be offered in-person or remotely?
  • We are actively exploring TAO in a remote setting based on input from campus leadership. This will not affect the registration process, however. Specific event information will be sent on September 17th, 2020 or as details become available. The message will be sent to the participant’s UC Davis email address used during registration.
  • What is the TA Orientation?
  • The TA Orientation is a day-long training program designed to help graduate students succeed in their role as Teaching Assistants (TAs) at UC Davis by introducing them to the principles and practices of effective teaching. Topics include, but are not limited to: creating an inclusive classroom, establishing a positive classroom atmosphere, leading effective discussions, presenting information clearly, and grading efficiently, among others.
  • Will there be another TA Orientation held during this academic year?
  • No. The Fall TA Orientation is the only orientation that will be held during the 2020-2021 academic year. 
  • Where on campus does the TA Orientation take place?
  • We are actively exploring TAO in a remote setting based on input from campus leadership. This will not affect the registration process, however. Specific event information will be sent on September 17th, 2020 or as details become available. The message will be sent to the participant’s UC Davis email address used during registration.

Attendance

  • I have not yet been appointed as a TA for the upcoming academic year, but I hope to be one. Should I attend the TA Orientation anyway?
  • Yes.  Any UC Davis graduate student who plans to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) is encouraged to sign up for and attend the TA Orientation, even if you don’t know for certain when you will be a TA. Most graduate students attend TA Orientation during their first year at UC Davis.
  • I am an international student who will be out of the country during the Fall TA Orientation AND will teach in Fall. What should I do?
  • You must be available for your Fall teaching assistantship appointment on the Monday before classes start according to the contract governing TA employment (Academic Student Employee Union – UAW 2865). However, if you have made irrevocable travel plans, there are things you can do in the interim to prepare for your fall teaching assignment. First, review the TA’s Guide to Effective Teaching at UC Davis. This resource provides practical advice and pertinent information to help TAs to be successful in their teaching roles on campus. Read it carefully – it is a useful document that will help prepare you for your first quarter of teaching (and beyond) at UC Davis. We also encourage you to attend sessions of our Fall Foundations in Teaching workshops (schedule will be announced in September).  
  • My department was assigned to the TA Orientation on a day when the graduate students in my department are already booked for another activity. Can we switch to the other day the TA Orientation is offered?
  • Yes, it is possible to attend either the Monday or the Tuesday session of the TA Orientation. Please ask a staff member in your department (typically the Graduate Coordinator) to contact the Center for Educational Effectiveness at cee@ucdavis.edu as early as possible to request a change of dates. We will try to accommodate as many requests as we can, but space is limited. 
  • I accidentally missed the Fall TA Orientation. Will I lose my TA appointment?
  • The final decision will be made by your department. Graduate students who miss TA Orientation will need to complete the training the following fall.  Note: TA Orientation is held once a year before the Fall quarter starts. Please ask your graduate coordinator to contact the Center for Educational Effectiveness at cee@ucdavis.edu with any questions about your status.
  • I have already been at Teaching Assistant at another university or taught K-12. Do I need to attend the TA Orientation?
  • Yes. Every person who will teach at UC Davis and has not yet attended the TA Orientation is required to attend. The TA Orientation is designed to be informative and interactive, and everyone, even experienced teachers, can benefit from attending. Also, if you have teaching experience, your contributions will be especially valuable during discussions throughout the day, as you can share your knowledge with fellow participants. In addition, you will learn about UC Davis-specific resources and the specific needs of UC Davis students.  These may differ from the resources and student needs you encountered at your previous institution. Therefore, the TA Orientation is an important professional development activity for all incoming TAs, regardless of prior teaching experience.
  • Do I have to attend all of the workshops in my track in order to fulfill the requirement?
  • Yes. You must attend and authenticate in at all of the workshops within your track in order to receive credit and meet the TAO campus requirement.  TAO facilitators provide review the process during each workshop. Please attend only the workshops in the track you are assigned. You will also need to attend and authenticate in to all sessions, including the in-person “Creating Inclusive Classrooms” workshop that all TAs attend (there is no need to sign up for this workshop separately). 
  • I attended TAO in the past (e.g. during a Master’s Program) – do I need to attend it again?
  • Please check with your department on the matter - it is their decision.

General Information

  • The Fall TA Orientation lasts several hours. Will I be paid?
  • Yes. The hours you attend the mandatory portion of the Fall TA Orientation apply to your first TAship and will count toward the 16-20 hours per week you are expected to work (for those with a 50% TA appointment). Please note that you will not be paid extra. In most cases, your supervisor will already be aware that these hours count toward your first TAship. If your department has questions about this matter, please ask your supervisor to contact your Graduate Coordinator. 
  • How will you notify my department that I have completed the TA Orientation requirement?
  • After the TA Orientation is complete, the Center for Educational Effectiveness will compile the attendance records and report that information back to departments and programs. This will happen by the end of fall quarter. It is extremely important that you attend the workshop series you are assigned to, as well as authenticate into every workshop you attend. You must attend all workshops in order to meet the campus requirement. Please note: You will NOT be issued a certificate for completing the TA Orientation. Instead, your Graduate Coordinator and program heads will have access to the certified attendance records. If you need verification that you attended and completed the TA Orientation, please contact your Graduate Coordinator directly. 
  • What role does the Academic Student Employee Union – UAW 2865 play in the TA Orientation? Is the union meeting required?
  • Teaching Assistant positions at UC Davis are represented by the Academic Student Employee Union – UAW 2865. Representatives of the UAW/ASE attend each TA Orientation in September. At this meeting you will learn about how the union represents you. See these web pages for more information:
    UAW Local 2865
    Office of Graduate Studies, ASE unit
  • Is the TA Orientation the only place I will have the opportunity to get more information about teaching?
  • The Center for Educational Effectiveness offers consultations, workshops and online resources that are available to you throughout the year. The Teaching Assistant Consulting (TAC) Fellows program is a primary source of support, information, and advice for TAs on the UC Davis campus. TAC Fellows facilitate workshops for TAs and conduct one-on-one consultations. The TA’s Guide to Effective Teaching at UC Davis is another resource that can help you develop as an instructor. You can also ask within your department and check the GradPathways calendar for teaching-related events.
  • I have a question that wasn’t included on this list. Whom can I contact?
  • Please contact the Center for Educational Effectiveness at cee@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6050.

Accommodations 

  • I have a disability. Will accommodations be available for me?
  • Yes, you will receive the accommodations you need to participate in the TA Orientation. When you register, explain your needs, and you will receive assistance from a CEE staff member. In some cases, CEE may need to work with the Student Disability Center or Human Resources to make our facilities, activities, and materials fully accessible to you. Because of the time required to coordinate campus resources, the more advance notice you give us, the better we can serve you. Please contact cee@ucdavis.edu.