Workshops & Consultation Policies
Consider this a “code of conduct” for the TATP Certificate Program, if you will; some guiding principles that cover all TATP-sponsored workshops, all Microteaching sessions and conduct during consultation meetings with TATP staff.
1. Disruptive Behaviour
Participants in TATP workshops are expected to conform to University of Toronto expectations regarding academic and behavioural conduct. Further, comments and participation must conform to university policies that guide teaching and learning environments, such as the Ontario Human Rights Code.
We ask that all participants respect the efforts of TATP trainers and your peers in creating a dynamic professional development environment for graduate students. To this end, please refrain from disruptive behaviour that distracts from others’ full participation in the learning environment. This behaviour can include, but is not limited to: talking over or interrupting; using phones, PDAs, and laptops in a distracting and disruptive manner; perfunctory participation in group activities. We ask that you refrain from, ironically, all the behaviours that you can’t stand in your own classrooms.
2. Respectful Questioning
The TATP Workshop Series is highly interdisciplinary. TAs from all backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience attend our sessions. This means that the discussion, activities or question-and-answer period in a given session cannot always speak to your particular teaching context. Keep this in mind when listening to others and asking questions in a workshop. During TATP workshops, seek to ask thoughtful questions with a broad enough focus that the answers may interest your fellow workshop participants as well. TATP Workshop Series facilitators cannot always answer questions with a specific disciplinary focus, but TATP staff members are very happy to discuss specific concerns about teaching in a given department or discipline following our workshops.
3. Respectful Feedback
When commenting on a peer’s point of view in a workshop, or when providing feedback to a peer on his or her teaching during a Microteaching session, it is extremely important to maintain a professional demeanour and to focus on constructive comments that point toward future development or future discussion. Especially when commenting on someone else’s teaching, be sure to provide descriptive comments that paint a picture for the teacher and describe what it is like to be a student sitting in that person’s class, and avoid prescriptive comments that seek to enumerate everything the person is doing wrong and seek to tell the teacher what she or he must do differently. Feedback is not evaluation: you are not meant to critique your peers. You are sharing observations and perspectives.