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Teaching Assistant Academy (TAA)

Note: TAA historically referred to the CTL’s one-day kickoff event for graduate students in the fall. That event is now called the Graduate Student Professional Development Summit. If you’re interested in joining TAA for the year, we highly recommend starting by attending the Summit. 

The Teaching Assistant Academy (TAA) is a program for graduate teaching assistants and graduate instructors with a current GTA or GI appointment who are interested in learning more about teaching strategies with peers. These meetings include both structured workshops on teaching techniques as well as informal activities designed to build relationships between students across the university. Graduate school is often an isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be!

This group is facilitated by Dr. Ana Quiring, CTL Learning Innovation Specialist, who was a grad student recently enough to know all the ups and downs of graduate school life. This group meets monthly throughout the academic year, alternating between Zoom and in-person meetings (with food). Specific meeting topics may include:

  • Tales from the Trenches: UMSL GTAs tell it like it is
  • Building confidence as an instructor
  • International grad student crash course: processing culture shock
  • Growing academic professionalism, from emails to finding a mentor
  • Creating engaging, interactive classes
  • Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT)

TAA also offers students the opportunity to earn formal badges in Teaching Effectiveness and other skills for their participation. These badges can be added to CVs, resumes, and LinkedIn, and are a great way to demonstrate your commitment to strong teaching. TAA carries a time commitment of 2-3 hours a month, making it an easy addition to busy schedules. 



Ana Quiring
Learning Innovation Specialist
(314) 516-5978