For GTA's: Teaching Strategies for Graduate Teaching Assistants

  • Laurence Bray George Mason University
  • Laura Lukes George Mason University


NOTE: This is a co-located workshop, meaning that it is open to both ITL attendees and the broader Mason community.  You do not have to be registered for the conference to attend this session. If you do plan to attend, please register for this event (ITL attendees please also register through this link so you receive follow up materials from the session).

Are you new to teaching or an experienced graduate teaching assistant (GTA)?

Do you serve in a support capacity (office hours, review sessions, grading, etc.) or serve as the instructor (leading a lab section, teaching a lecture or recitation section, etc.)?  

The semester has started and as a GTA, you are in the thick of working with students, trying to enable their learning.  This session aims to provide some "just in time" support for the questions and concerns that you may have now that you are teaching and working with students. The first part of this session is designed to provide a broad framework for how people learn and what it means to teach through some short interactive activities.  The second part will provide practical strategies and tips that you can use next week in the classroom or working with your students. There will also be time for Q&A.

Author Biographies

Laurence Bray, George Mason University

*2018 Teacher of Distinction*

Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Education

Office of the Provost

Laura Lukes, George Mason University

Assistant Director for Teaching Excellence

Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning

*Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America*

*2017 Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award*

*2010-2011 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow*

Laura is both a geologist and a geoscience education researcher, currently serving as the Assistant Director of Stearns Center. Her research focuses on how learning environments, teaching practices, and beliefs influence the strategies and tactics students use to manage their own learning in classroom settings (self-regulated models of learning). Laura is an award-winning educator who has experience teaching in a variety of settings (university, community college, K-12, informal, in the field, in person, online) and class sizes (6-95). She also has experience collaborating with faculty and providing training for graduate students in how to incorporate active learning methods into their classrooms.


Prior to joining the Stearns Center in June 2014, she served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Office of Polar Programs. During this time, she served as Director of the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), an internationally-collaborative field science research experience on the Greenland ice sheet for students and teachers from Greenland, Denmark, and the US. Laura continues to be an active leader in the national and international geoscience education communities. She served as President of the Geoscience Education Research Division (GER) of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and the chair of the Education Committee of the Geological Society of America (GSA). She received the 2017 Biggs Award for Earth Science Teaching from the Geological Society of America.

10:30am-11:30am Workshop