Department of Mathematics

CIM Mentoring Program

All Graduate Teaching Assistants in their 2nd and 3rd year are required to participate in the CIM Mentoring Program. This professional development program has been designed to support your teaching in meaningful ways, and changes have been based on the feedback that we have received to emphasize the activities that have been most useful. This semester, all GTAs in the CIM Mentoring Program must complete the following professional development activities.

  1. Lesson-planning Workshops: You will participate in 2 lesson planning workshops at the beginning of the semester. These workshops will provide an informal, open space for you to discuss your teaching and collaborate on developing lesson plans that you can use immediately. Collaborating while teaching is a simple way to alleviate your workload and deliver a superior lesson.
  2. Classroom Observations: As a learning experience, you will complete 4 classroom observations of the course you are teaching; observing a classroom is quite different from the perspective of standing in front! You will observe 2 experienced instructors (Mentoring Leaders, faculty, etc.) as well as 2 peers. Use the Observation Guide provided to draw attention to specific aspects of teaching and learning.
  3. Individual Meetings with Mentoring Leader: You will meet with your Mentoring Leader on two occasions to talk about your teaching informally. You can share your struggles and successes, reflect on your Classroom Observations, and/or collaborate to make improvements to your teaching.
  4. Professional Development Electives: You will participate in 4 professional development activities of your choosing. Flexibility is deliberate for this requirement, so you should engage in the activities that you find most helpful in supporting your teaching. If you have questions or would like to discuss the options, don’t hesitate to contact one of the CIM coordinators and they will be happy to provide you with direction. Several examples of professional development activities are provided below.
    • Micro-Teaching Labs: Space to practice new teaching methods with a mock class, receive feedback in real-time, and discuss teaching strategies. Arrange Micro-Teaching Labs with one of the CIM Coordinators.
    • Lesson Planning Workshops: Participation in Lesson Planning Workshops is required during the first 3 weeks of the semester, but optional Lesson Planning Workshops will be arranged based on interest. Please respond to a survey that will be emailed during the 3rd week of the semester if you are interested.
    • Education Seminars:
  5. Informal Observations and Feedback: Mentoring participants will be informally observed twice per semester. The goal of the informal observations is to provide you with low-stakes, formative feedback to improve teaching. The feedback that is provided will not be used to evaluate your teaching. Extra informal observations can be requested at any time by any instructor seeking additional feedback.
  6. Formal Observation and Evaluation: All department Teaching Assistants are observed every semester. These observations are used to gather information about overall teaching quality, which is used to determine if extra teaching support is needed as well as informing future teaching assignments. You will be notified via email prior to a Formal Observation and Evaluation.