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Support Classes Information 23

IMPORTANT information about supervisions and the teaching assistant (TA) role in 2023/24: 

As part of the application process you will be asked if you are prepared to deliver both face to face and online teaching or not. Whilst we fully expect that the vast majority of teaching will take place face-to-face, you should be prepared for the possibility of conducting teaching online.

Any face-to-face classes or supervisions will take place under university any COVID regulations in force at the time and TAs/supervisors will be provided with the equipment necessary to do this.

Where there is a large module with marking attached and several TAs there may be scope for marking only roles, teaching only roles and marking and teaching roles.

The Department requires well qualified teachers in order to provide this level of support and so a broad familiarity with the subject is essential, which must usually be demonstrated by being an existing postgraduate (research) student. We will, in exceptional cases, also accept applications from postgraduate (taught) students in the Mathematics Department and other applications if the applicant can demonstrate the necessary background.

Please contact Richard Lissaman,, if you have any queries.

Graduate students form an essential and respected part of the undergraduate teaching force at Warwick. Our students are of the highest calibre: most have 3 or 4 A’s at A-level and STEP. They expect and deserve good teaching. They also need the support and encouragement of people who vividly remember how challenging undergraduate mathematics can be.

What do supervisors do?

Supervisors meet groups of 5 first year students to answer questions, discuss assignment problems, and stimulate participation and debate. You will typically be asked to mark three assignments per student per week. This must be done responsibly and promptly, as in most subjects assessed work is worth 15% of the final mark. At the end of each term you will be expected to complete a student report form on each of your students.

What would I teach in supervisions?

2022/23 saw the introduction of the New Curriculum Framework for 1st year undergraduates. Since then, and in 23/24, supervisors teach first year maths students who take courses in Foundations, Analysis, Algebra II (similar to Linear Algebra from 2021/22), Methods of Mathematical Modelling I (similar to Differential Equations from 2021/22), Methods of Mathematical Modelling II (similar to Geometry and Motion from 2021/22) and Algebra I (similar to Introduction to Abstract Algebra from 2021/22). For joint degree students, Calculus and Sets and Numbers are taken in place of Analysis and Foundations, and we fully expect there will be no requirement to support Mathematical Modelling I or II). Exactly which modules you will support will depend on whether your group is maths students or joint degree students and their option choices.

Some revision supervisions, or supervisions for students who need extra help, may be arranged at the discretion of the Supervisions Coordinator (currently Richard Lissaman

How much will I teach?

For supervisions there is a menu on the form for you to specify your preferred number of (contact) hours a week. Under current plans you would have two contact hours per week per maths group and one contact hour per week for each group of joint-degree students. You should remember that there is marking on top of this. Preparation/admin/marking payments are normally at 3 hours per group per week for maths group and two hours per week for joint degree students (the differences are due to differences in the number of modules covered).

Likewise you can state the number of contact hours you can provide for support classes on the form. If given a support class you are most likely to have one support class a week or fortnight but you should factor in preparation time (usually at one hour hour per class), and time for marking if there is any (you get paid extra if there is marking).

How do I know how to teach?

There is a compulsory training session for new supervisors during their first week of term to go through the basics (both the logistics of giving supervisions and guidance on teaching), and there will also be an online course specifically for TAs to learn how they should be running support classes, this session is compulsory for postgrads who are new to teaching for the department in order to be placed on a GTA contract (it also looks good on your CV!).

What’s in it for me?

• The rate per hour for postgraduate GTAs starts at approximately £17 (there are increments with experience). This applies to contact hours and to prep/admin/marking hours.

• There are normally two contact hours per week for each maths group and one contact hour per week for each non-maths group.

• Preparation/admin/marking payments for supervisions are normally at 3 hours per group per week for maths group and two hours per week for joint degree students (the differences are due to differences in the number of modules covered).

• Support class rates depend on class size and marking. For delivering a single one-hour support class per week you are paid for that contact hour plus an additional hour for preparation. If you deliver the same class more than once per week then your preparation hours increase but not in proportion with the contact hours. Marking payments are dealt with separately and depend on the number of students registered on the module when registrations close around the end of the third week of each term.

• You gain teaching experience and some valuable lines on your CV.

• You have the satisfaction of helping others learn a subject you love.

• You learn while you teach – not just about teaching, but about mathematics too.

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