Below is the text of a TA Training Grant Application I submitted to the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on behalf of our department in the summer of 2010, when I had completed two years of service as our department’s liaison to the CTL. This application was originally approved by Professor Reichert and the then-chair of the department, Professor Sun. The funding we received as a result of the success of this grant went to the early efforts to organize and create the online archive which has now become this graduate student blog.
I post it here for institutional memory among us grad students, and to encourage present and future grad students in our department to keep involved in efforts to secure funding and resources to build our department’s graduate student-focused agenda — namely, things such as professional development and teaching training, new grad student orientation, grad student community building, and continued efforts to build and maintain our student-run online archive.
As for “point people” who have advocated for EALC grad students in the past, I would say Mariatte Denman of the CTL has been a strong supporter of our department’s efforts to better prepare our grad students for TA work and training to become teachers at the college-level.
2010 CTL TA Training Grant Application
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures recently revamped its webpage. At that time, the department’s graduate students discussed our interest in creating an internet-based space connected to the department webpage which would be accessible only to graduate students, where we could archive information regarding our department’s policies, opportunities and resources for its teaching assistants.
We have been notified that in the coming summer months or perhaps the early fall of 2010, web space will be made available for our department’s graduate students to access securely in this manner. We will then have the opportunity to create an online archive related to the training and support of teaching assistants in our department, if we can commit enough of our time and work to the task. With that web space, we aim to set up a wiki platform where all graduate students can read, edit, and contribute to the creation of a dynamic source of content related to graduate student teaching. This online archive and forum will help those graduate students preparing to be teaching assistants as well as those currently serving as teaching assistants. It would also provide resources for students who have completed their teaching assistant duties, who are in the process of creating materials for job applications related to their teaching experiences at Stanford.
The creation of an online archive concerning graduate student teaching within our department would assist our graduate community in updating and centralizing its institutional record of teaching assistant work and the role of graduate student teaching in our department. Our department’s graduate students currently lack such a unified record of teaching-related materials, policies and resources, despite recent changes in our course offerings affecting teaching assistants. Furthermore, an online archive would allow for better communication among all graduate students regarding graduate student teaching in our department. Without a departmental orientation or institutionalized training in place for our teaching assistants (particularly with regard to teaching non-foreign language “content courses”), discussion of teaching assistants’ responsibilities, available teaching resources, and opportunities for evaluating graduate student teaching occurs on a small scale via individual conversations between faculty and graduate students who will be working together, or between the most recent TA of a course and the next TA assigned to that course. An online wiki space archiving teaching training materials and resources could open up such discussions to all graduate students, so as to prepare them earlier and more consistently from year to year. This online teaching archive could also provide an open space for discussion of future plans to improve our own teaching and our department’s training of teaching assistants, and to advocate for graduate student teachers within our department.
An initial planning meeting near the start of the 2010-2011 academic year will introduce this online archive/wiki project to both our new cohort and returning students. At this meeting, three students will be selected to contribute to the work of setting up the wiki (according to a structure approved by graduate student consensus), and then drafting, gathering, formatting and inputting materials to the online archive. One student will be selected to update, diversify and edit our paper teaching archive, a kind of handbook of materials to orient and prepare future teaching assistants. This task will involve the purchase of contemporary texts and/or journal volumes related to teaching East Asian humanities and Asian languages. Ideally, these purchases would reflect the consensus of the department’s graduate students, and may include texts previous teaching assistants have found helpful in their own teaching. The tasks of creating and maintaining the paper and online archives will continue throughout the school year, and into the future, as needed.
Graduate students will lead and implement this project largely on their own, but in creating and maintaining the online and paper archives they will work in consultation with EALC Department Administrator Connie Chin and Faculty Coordinator Jim Reichert as necessary. This project stands to provide teaching assistant training and teaching-related resources to all graduate student teachers in our department (approximately 25 students).
Catering for initial planning meeting, anticipating up to 30 participants: $400
Graduate student salaries for three (3) students to create and select materials to include in the online archive, prepare materials for input (scan documents, manipulate existing computer files to conform to web formats), input documents, and maintain archive; 20 hours each @ $20/hour: $1200
Graduate student salary for one (1) student to create and maintain a paper archive of teaching-related materials: 25 hours @ $20/hour: $500
Photocopying related to paper archive creation: $75
Purchases of texts and/or journal volumes related to teaching East Asian humanities and Asian languages for paper archive: $225
Total amount of funding requested: $2,400