Prepare to Teach

Prepare for Your First Semester

The Florida State University operates on a comprehensive TA preparation model facilitated by both department-based and university-based preparation. University-based preparation is meant to compliment rather than replace the excellent programs that exist in departments. University-based preparation guarantees that all TAs have access to professional development opportunities. TA preparation varies considerably among departments, check first with your department to see what is required before you can teach. The options below are offered by university-based preparation.

The Wednesday and Thursday before fall semester begins the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) conducts a two day teaching conference for graduate student teaching assistants (TAs). This conference is an orientation to teaching at FSU and is free to participants. The focus of the conference is on policies and services of the University as they relate to teaching.

  • Enroll in the Basics of Teaching @ FSU Online Preparation Series

This online series of teaching modules is designed to provide a continuation of the PIE Graduate Student Teaching Conference. If you meet specific requirements you will earn an Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition.

  1. How do I enroll in the training? Send an enrollment request email to pie-info@fsu.edu , and we will enroll you in the training. You will receive a notification email once you are enrolled.
  2. When is the deadline for enrollment? The deadline varies each semester however, it usually falls around the fourth Friday after classes start.
  3. What content is covered? The online training series consists of six content units: Developing a course syllabus; Knowing your teaching environment; Using Blackboard for introduction; Planning teaching-learning activities; Student assessment; and Course evaluation and revision.
  4. How much time will I spend? You are expected to spend one hour on reading, two hours on practicing each week for 14 weeks.
  5. Are there other activities offered? Yes, there will be at least three face-to-face PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshops held each semester at the Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House. Topics related to the course content will be presented and discussed.

To earn the Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition, you would need to complete all of the Basics of Teaching Online Modules/Units, and attend at least two PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshops. You have two consecutive semesters in which to complete these requirements in order to earn an Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition.

Browse the checklists for tips, articles and related links to mandatory administrative policies, guidelines, and best practices that can be applied well in advance of the first day through the end of the semester.

Tools & Tips

Decades of learning theory, educational psychology, instructional systems and student development research have revealed that an effective learning environment should be a two-way transaction between instructor and student, not a one-way transmission of knowledge from instructor to student. A learning environment must factor in what students contribute and what they need in order to achieve. There are many resources available to TAs at FSU that offer tips, techniques and strategies for practical application of those theories.

Instruction @ FSU: A Guide to Teaching & Learning Practices

This handbook has been designed to help those instructional faculty and graduate teaching assistants who are interested in being more effective teachers.

TA Handbook

As a teaching assistant you are important to the quality of undergraduate education. Over the course of your assistantship, you will develop your own style of teaching according to your personality and academic discipline. There is no magic "best" way to teach; many different styles work as long as the instructor engages students in the active learning process and conveys enthusiasm for his/her discipline. This handbook is a guide to help you get started.

Bringing Out the Best in Your Students

This resource, created by the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), is a great starting point for beginning teachers. It contains ACE's top eight tips for great classroom management and optimizing student success.