CTE Graduate Student Teaching Development Network

TAWF & GIS Winter 2017 Team

Since first launching our graduate programs in 1998, the Centre for Teaching Excellence has employed over 70 graduate students from across the University of Waterloo’s six faculties. As these graduate student staff positions have evolved, we have remained committed to providing formal opportunities for Waterloo graduate students to contribute to our programs—and develop themselves professionally —through their work as peer facilitators and mentors.

We hire Graduate Instructional Developers and TA Workshop Facilitators who have significant teaching experience and have demonstrated evidence of teaching effectiveness. Many are award-winning TAs and sessional instructors whose teaching successes have been recognized through departmental and university-wide teaching awards. We select graduate student staff based on their background in teaching, record of teaching development activities, excellent communication and presentation skills, interest in university teaching, and commitment to other graduate students’ teaching development. Over time, we have built a collaborative and motivated team of professionals who consistently enrich our graduate programs.

Through their work at CTE, our graduate student staff members:

  • enhance their teaching, communication and academic leadership skills
  • cultivate their knowledge of instructional practices within and across disciplines
  • collaborate on new ideas and reflect on their teaching experiences with our interdisciplinary CTE graduate team
  • participate in professional development activities alongside CTE staff
  • develop their CVs and prepare for the job-search process in academic, alt-academic, and post-academic settings

We are committed to an apprenticeship model and provide support and mentorship to all of our graduate student staff members as they learn how to be educational developers. Graduate students are typically hired for one year. CTE currently employs 10 graduate students a term in two types of positions:

  • Our six TA Workshop Facilitators facilitate and co-facilitate graduate student workshops on university teaching. Each TA Workshop Facilitator is responsible for preparing and facilitating five to six workshops per term and participating in monthly team meetings where the team collaborates on developing and revising our workshop offerings. TA Workshop Facilitators devote 30 hours per term to their role.
  • Our four Graduate Instructional Developers conduct teaching observations, facilitate advanced workshops on university teaching, assist with the development of new workshops, and facilitate microteaching sessions—small-group practice teaching sessions—for graduate students. Graduate Instructional Developers may also assist with marking workshop response papers and teaching dossiers for CTE’s Certificate in University Teaching. Just like TA positions at Waterloo, these positions are 10 hours per week.

Many past graduate student staff members have commented on how their experience with CTE positively impacted their professional and personal growth. For a number of graduate students, their work at CTE helped them to secure academic and educational development positions both in Canada and internationally.

We hire new graduate student staff members every term, so if you are a full-time graduate student interested in working with CTE, please contact us at cte-grad@uwaterloo.ca. We look forward to getting to know you.

Here is what some of our former graduate student staff members have said about their experiences at CTE:

One of the most valuable aspects of working at the CTE was exposure to teaching practices across a diverse range of disciplines. This exposure inspired me to make changes to my teaching practice and also shaped who I have become as an educator.  Not only did I learn a lot and enjoy working with grad students at UWaterloo, my job at the CTE opened my eyes to new and exciting career pathways in higher education.

- Dr. Kyra Jones, Educational Developer, Wilfrid Laurier University

Working at the CTE provides you with transferable skills and experiences that go well beyond the specific skill set you obtain during your research training.  Currently, as a Research Facilitator, I rely heavily on my ability to provide quality verbal and written feedback and delivering effective workshops and seminars to faculty members: skills which I gained and improved upon through my time at CTE. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that I had with the CTE and for the extra boost it gave me as I began my post-graduate career.

- Dr. Amy Hackney, Research Facilitator, Wilfrid Laurier University

Working at CTE... I was exposed to many teaching styles in different fields, and was able to apply some of them back in my own subject-specific teaching in math and engineering. It has opened more doors career-wise, as I'm currently training graduate students full time at the University of Hong Kong.  I'd highly recommend this opportunity to any graduate students wanting to further develop teaching in themselves and at UWaterloo!

- Dr. Alex Shum, Lecturer, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Hong Kong

My work at CTE proved to be an invaluable experience for my career in the area of Foreign Language Education. Many aspects of this position, such as conducting teaching observations, giving feedback, and delivering workshops on topics of university teaching, have served as building blocks in my post-graduation work in language program coordination and teacher training.

- Dr. Mareike Müller, Instructor of German, Virginia Commonwealth University