UW Chemistry Graduate Training: Teaching Skills
When you become a graduate student you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with undergraduate students taking courses at the University of Wyoming. All first year graduate students in the chemistry department are required to be teaching assistants (TA’s) for courses such as general chemistry and organic chemistry. If you have sufficient experience, you can TA one of the advanced laboratory courses.
Honing Your Teaching Skills
Teaching skills at the college or university level are often not formally taught. A graduate degree was considered a research degree, yet, ironically, most Ph.D.s go on to teach in colleges and universities. We recognize this inconsistency in graduate training at the University of Wyoming and we provide all of our students with course work and experience in the methods and process of teaching.
Specific duties vary depending on the course for which you TA. Most courses require you to:
- teach two three-hour labs each week,
- hold office hours, assist students in the chemistry department tutorial room, proctor exams,
- and grade lab assignments, quizzes and exams.
Teaching assistantships help you develop even when teaching is not your goal. The experience of reciting your knowledge before a group and maintaining the attention of a group is one of the first steps toward leadership skills expected of someone holding an advanced degree. During your time as a TA you will interact with many different people, including faculty members and undergraduate students, and of course fellow graduate students. Working relationships, as well as long-lasting friendships, are often made with people that you come into contact with as a TA. There is great camaraderie among our teaching assistants!