What is the TA/RA Conference on Teaching, Learning and Research?
The TA/RA Conference is designed to help you prepare for your roles and responsibilities as a TA and/or RA at UW, and to provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills as a scholar teaching and conducting research in your discipline. The conference is intended to supplements activities conducted in individual departments, and many departments recommend specific workshops for their TAs and RAs to attend.
When does the TA/RA Conference take place?
The TA/RA Conference takes place every September. For the dates of this year’s conference please visit the TA/RA Conference main page.
Where does the TA/RA Conference take place?
The TA/RA Conference takes place in buildings on central campus. The ITA Program sessions on Monday afternoon are in Savery 260. Tuesday morning conference check-in/registration and the opening plenary are in Kane Hall.
How do I find out the location of the workshops I have registered for?
When you arrive at the conference, you will receive a conference packet with a schedule indicating the rooms for the workshops that you have selected. You can pick up your packet with your schedule in Kane Hall lobby on Tuesday morning until 10:45. After that and all day Wednesday, you can pick up your packet and schedule at the Center for Teaching and Learning, Gerberding 100. TAs participating in the International TA Program workshops on Monday afternoon can get their packets at Savery 260.
Who should attend the TA/RA Conference?
Workshops at the TA/RA Conference are designed for UW graduate students, including those who are:
- New to teaching
- Experienced at teaching, but new to UW
- Experienced at teaching at UW, but are preparing for a different kind of TA role than they have held before
- Anticipating an appointment as an RA
Workshops are led by experienced graduate students, faculty, and staff from departments throughout the university. These facilitators draw on their experiences as graduate TAs and RAs. Workshops are designed to provide a forum for discussing effective teaching and/or working in a research setting, allowing you to raise questions and concerns and to interact with workshop facilitators and fellow graduate students.
What should TAs/RAs do if they can’t attend?
If your department requires you to attend conference workshops, but you are not able to attend, please notify your department.
What if Conference workshops conflict with department events scheduled for the same day or time?
Department events take precedence over the TA/RA Conference. Many departments have recommended specific conference workshops for their graduate students to attend. Contact your department to find out which workshops they recommend.
You are invited to attend as much of the Conference as possible at those times when workshops do not conflict with department meetings or events.
If TAs or RAs miss the conference in September, can they attend another workshop later in the year?
The TA/RA Conference takes place once a year, so graduate students should plan to attend in September even if their appointments don’t begin until Winter or Spring Quarter.
What should I do if my TA or RA appointment is not yet finalized?
Any graduate student is welcome to attend the Conference with or without an appointment. You are also welcome to attend the Conference in future years.
How are new graduate students informed of the Conference?
Departments email their TAs and RAs to let them know about the Conference, what workshops the department recommends, and how to register.
How does the TA/RA Conference relate to the International TA Program?
The International TA Program begins at the TA/RA Conference and continues during the academic year. The program consists of two parts:
- International TA Program Workshop sessions at the Conference
- Ongoing support during the academic year including workshops for groups of TAs and individual consultations as requested by the TA and/or by the TA’s department.
Who is required to participate in the International TA Program?
The Graduate School requires all TAs who are not native speakers of English, except those who received a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution, to participate in the International TA Program. For more information about the requirement, see Graduate School Memo 15.
How can TAs who are not native speakers of English satisfy the spoken English proficiency requirement?
Proficiency in spoken English may be demonstrated by submitting a spoken English proficiency test score or by passing English 105. For more information, please see Information for TAs who are Not Native Speakers of English.
For other questions, please contact TARAConf@u.washington.edu.