TAO 2010:
Teaching Assistant Orientation
August 18 and 19, 2010


Click here to register.

All TAO participants are asked to register for the event by Monday, August 9, 2010

Are you an international teaching assistant?
Click here to find out about International Teaching Assistant Orientation


Many graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships, and while teaching assistant (TA) duties vary across departments, they all demand considerable skill and knowledge.  These duties can include grading, consulting with students during office hours, leading discussion or problem sessions, teaching labs, or giving lectures.

To assist new TAs as they prepare for their duties, the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching offers its Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) each August.

  • Sessions at the orientation offer effective strategies for the varied teaching duties assumed by TAs and provide information on campus resources available to TAs.

  • Participants at TAO also receive an opportunity to practice their teaching skills and receive feedback on their teaching from experienced teachers.

  • Participation in the orientation can make students' work as TAs easier and will be a valuable addition to their curriculum vitae, especially if they intend to pursue an academic career.


*Times and locations subject to change.

Wednesday, August 18th


Buttrick Hall Atrium



Buttrick Hall Classrooms

Disciplinary Focus Session I – Join other new TAs in your discipline and learn about effective teaching methods relevant to the teaching you’ll be doing as a TA—for example, holding office hours, grading papers, running a lab, or teaching your own course.


Buttrick Hall Atrium

Break - Refreshments provided


Buttrick Hall Classrooms

Disciplinary Focus Session II – Further exploration of teaching issues in your discipline

Thursday, August 19th


Buttrick Hall Classrooms/ Stevenson Center Classrooms

Practice Teaching Sessions – Prepare and give a 5-minute demonstration of teaching in your discipline and receive feedback on your teaching from your peers and from more experienced TAs in your discipline.

Who Should Attend TAO?

  • Graduate students who will begin teaching assistant (TA) duties during the 2010-11 school year are invited to attend TAO.

  • You may be required to attend TAO by your department.  Please check with your department to find out its TAO attendance policy.

  • If you do not know if you will begin your TA duties during the 2010-11 school year, then you should check with your department to find out.

  • If you are sure you will not be a TA during the 2010-11 school year, then you should defer your attendance of TAO until the beginning of the academic year in which you actually begin your TA duties.

If you are an incoming international graduate student, then you should also plan on attending ITAP Teaching & Language Evaluations on August 17, 2010.

Click here to register.

All TAO participants are asked to register for the event by Monday, August 9, 2010


PARKINGPlease allow yourself PLENTY of time to get to campus and to find parking.  We suggest that you give yourself at least 20 minutes to park and find your way to Buttrick Hall.

  • Vanderbilt parking: If you haven’t already, it would be wise to get your semester parking permit from Traffic and Parking so you can park for free in a designated Vanderbilt parking lot. Visit the Office of Traffic and Parking Web site to see designated lots.
  • Visitor parking: If you don’t have your VU parking permit, there are several Central Parking lots available for your use. Go to this map for more information on and the location of Visitor Parking lots.

For More Information

For more information, contact CFT Assistant Director Kat Baker at 615-322-7290 or via email.

Previous Years

For information on past TAOs, please see our TAO Archive.


Center for Teaching
1114 19th Avenue South
Peabody Box #183
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone 615-322-7290
Fax 615-343-8111


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