Graduate – Prospective – Teaching
Teacher training is a central component of our Ph.D. program. Up to four years of Teaching Assistantships are available to all graduate students in good standing. Our TA appointments provide a salary plus a generous fee remission benefit which covers all but a small portion (approximately $50) of quarterly tuition and includes full health insurance coverage.
As preparation for teaching in the English department, students take our departmental teaching practicum course, English 495A, in spring quarter of the first year while they are on full fellowship. This course provides students with a solid pedagogical foundation for an effective and positive teaching experience. In fall of year two, students normally begin their first quarter as Teaching Assistants. They also take English 495B, which provides continued one-on-one mentoring and training essential for success in the classroom.
As TAs, our students have the option, in addition to leading discussion groups attached to lecture courses taught by our ladder faculty, of teaching their own sections of English 4W, a literature-based freshman writing course, for which they are free to incorporate their own research interests into a syllabus of their own design. There are also opportunities to TA for a range of interdisciplinary freshman “cluster” courses on diverse topics such as Food Studies, America in the Sixties, Interracial Dynamics, and Biotechnology and Society.
All TA positions are covered by a robust union contract which guarantees fair and equitable working conditions, salaries, and benefits. TAs also enjoy the support and ongoing mentoring of a full-time faculty Teaching Assistant Coordinator, a peer TA consultant, and a departmental union representative.