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Workshops - Summer 2022

When we got involved in the Warwick PTC, we knew we wanted to find opportunities to bring PGRs and GTAs together. We also knew that many PGRs have questions about being a GTA, how to navigate the process of becoming a GTA, what support was available, how to go about running a teaching session, the list goes on. We wanted to provide an opportunity to address these questions, and so the Tips and Tricks series was born.  

During Summer 2022, we introduced Tips and Tricks - a series of regular sessions dedicated to answering the questions of prospective and current GTAs, hosted by Warwick GTAs, in an honest, helpful community forum. So far, we have held four sessions, each on a different theme: Introduction to Teaching, Preparing for your first GTA position, Session Planning, Assessment and Feedback, and Tips, Tricks and Networking. We invited the PGR community to submit their questions, either in advance or during the session, we discussed and tried to address each question based on our own experiences as GTAs, and the experiences of our peers. 

Our first three sessions were purely online, with our final session taking place in a hybrid format, with PGRs both online and physically present in the Wolfson Research Exchange. Our final session also offered an opportunity for PGRs and GTAs to get to know each other, as this session had a networking focus, including ‘GTA Speed Dating’. With these sessions, we managed to reach PGRs from every faculty, with members of 23 departments signing up to attend a session, as well as PGRs and PGTs from beyond Warwick. We received over 110 sign-ups for our sessions, with 80 unique PGRs signing up over the course of the Tips and Tricks series.  

We have collated the questions and answers discussed over the course of our sessions and are in the process of preparing a GTA Tips and Tricks Handbook. It is hoped that this handbook can act as a useful reference point for GTAs, wherever they are in their teaching journey. Any suggestions or recommendations we make are purely based on our own lived experiences of teaching at the University of Warwick, but we hope that our insight proves useful. 

The feedback we received from attendees was very encouraging, who said that our sessions put their minds at ease, and they felt more comfortable and confident about teaching and becoming a GTA as a result. We also found that there was an appetite for more sessions and initiatives like these, which bring PGRs and GTAs together, not only to build a sense of community, but also to allow PGRs to learn from each other.  

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Sara Hattersley and Pierre Botcherby for supporting the PTC and making these sessions possible. We’d also like thank Will Carroll, who was a key part of the team at the beginning of this project, initially proposing the idea for these ‘networking sessions’ but had to leave us to pursue other projects. We also want to thank everybody who has joined us, in person and online, or submitted a question, who made these sessions a success.  

Tips and Tricks team – Cherisse Francis and Sophie Pain