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Support Classes Information

IMPORTANT for 2020/21 Supervisions: the University are trying to encourage as much face to face teaching as possible, Supervisions and Tutorials are one way we have to achieve this. For supervisions held face to face all supervisees will be expected to wear face masks, supervisor will wear a face shield and have access to their own board rubber, chalk, and wipes. Many supervision areas are unsuitable for social distancing and so are replaced by other areas in the department such as lecture theatres, seminar rooms, UG workroom and Staff common room. As part of the application process you will be asked if you are prepared to deliver face to face teaching or not: there will be limited scope for online supervisions for supervisees who have deferred coming to campus, and others who have good reason. Where there is a large module with marking attached and several TAs there will may be scope for a mix of marking only, online classes or face to face, but again we will want to provide face to face where we think it is feasible.

In any case, you should all be prepared to be conducting supervisions online at some stage during the term.

Also note that for 2020/21 first year maths students will only be receiving one supervision a week, not two, with the slack taken up by Personal Tutors (supervisors will still do all the marking, with contracts set up to reflect this).

Graduate and MMath 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 students once a week 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.

Whom will I teach?

MMath students are only given first year students to supervise, although this includes joint degree students from stats, physics and computer science. For all students this year due to Covid changes, they will be in groups of 5 and you will meet them, either online or face to face, once a week. If you have maths students, and we go ahead with term 3 supervisions (to be decided) you will be given the option not to supervise in the third term at a later date.

What will I teach?

Supervisors teach first year students who take courses in Foundations, Analysis, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Geometry and Motion. Some revision supervisions, or supervisions for students who need extra help, may be arranged at the discretion of the Supervisions Coordinator (currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies). You may be asked to help with Probability A and B by your supervisees, but you would be under no obligation to do so and should concentrate on the core maths modules first.

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, you should remember that there is marking on top of this. As a rough guide for the one contact hour of supervisions you are essentially paid for 2.5 hours work (preparation, contact, marking). 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, 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 supervision rate for 2020/21 is approximately £14 per hour, where typically for one contact hour you'll be paid an additional 2 hours marking and prep.

• Support Class rates depend on class size and marking. The basic rate when there is no marking works out at a little over £30 per contact hour (one contact hour, one prep hour). Marking rate then depends on the number of students registered on the module when registrations close at the end of the third week, with an increasing scale in blocks of 15 students.

• 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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