This project seeks funding to organise a Zine making workshop for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) employed at the Law School. The aims of the project are two-fold: firstly to foster a sense of community amidst existing hourly paid staff, and secondly, to create zine ‘Tips and Tricks’ manual for new teachers.
GTAs are an important part of the life and teaching at the Law School but some report that they do not feel a sense of belonging. Furthermore, based on formal and informal feedback, it has become clear that the GTAs have varied experiences of teaching as part of module teams and that they have diverse training needs. Many academics take their first steps into teaching as GTAs. This can be emotionally and administratively difficult, and even overwhelming for some, yet, it is a crucially important stage as we develop into full-time educators. The Law School is putting in place various measures to think about GTA training needs more holistically and formally.
The zine project complements the ‘formal’ training and is organised by the GTAs, for the GTAs, but supported by a faculty member.
The first aim of the project is to foster a sense of community. The project will do so by hosting a workshop that will be a creative space to collaborate for the GTAs and other hourly paid teaching staff. The workshop will be facilitated an experienced zine maker, and focus on co-creation. The workshop will provide a space for the existing GTAs to reflect on their experiences, foster community spirit, and to pass their knowledge on to future generations in a creative way. In this way, GTAs are able to write down the questions they had when starting this role, tips for new starters while being able to reflect on their own practices in a safe space. The workshop will be held on campus and all materials will be provided, depending on the funding. However, for inclusivity, those who are unable to join physically, are invited to join virtually. For those joining virtually, we will create ‘Zine Making Packs’ that can be posted or collected.
After the workshop, the zine pages will be compiled into the manual which will be available both as hard copies and electronic copies. This is the second aim of the project. The hardcopies will be handed out in the Law School induction for new starts during academic year 2022/2023, and some of the GTAs who contributed to the zine will take part in the session to present the manual and share their experiences with teaching to their new colleagues.