Teaching Assistant Preparation Program

Teaching Assistant Preparation Program (TAPP)

Teaching in higher education can be a challenging endeavor that requires preparation and support. To assist with this transition for new scholars, the Teaching Preparation Program was designed to provide a laddering on which graduate students and post-doctoral scholars can develop their teaching capacity.

Throughout the three levels of the program, participants are encouraged to develop a teaching dossier, recording key aspects of their teaching capacity-building process, as well as evidence of teaching practice. Suggested items for inclusion in the portfolio include, but are not limited to, TAPP passport reflections, class observation reports, lesson plans, and other artifacts.

For more information or to join the program, please contact:

Teaching and Learning Facilitator at tandl@ucalgary.ca

Teaching Assistant Preparation Program, Level 1

Graduate students interested in obtaining TAPP certification are required to attend a minimum of of 4 Werklund and 4 Taylor Institute workshops and do two teaching observations.  Participants are required to complete written reflections on each of the learning opportunities and classroom observations they attend and post them to the D2L shell for the Teaching Assistant Preparation Program (TAPP) program.

The following topics will be covered by the Werklund School of Education Office of Teaching and Learning.  The next iteration of the TAPP program will begin in September 2024.  These sessions will be hybrid with the option of participating in person or via Zoom.  To join via Zoom email tandl@ucalgary.ca for the meeting information.  The topics that will be covered are:

TAPP Orientation (This does not count toward completion of the program)
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Reflective Writing to Inform Teaching Practice
Responding to Students in Distress
Academic Integrity
Online Communication
Student Accessibility and Accommodation
Integrating Student Feedback into Teaching Practice 
Grading and Assessment

Consult the Taylor Institute registration page for current list of learning opportunities. Additional learning opportunities that are added to the calendar at Werklund School of Education can also be eligible for credit toward completion of the TAPP 1 Certificate.

You are encouraged to complete the certificate requirements by April 1, 2025 to have your TAPP 1 completion noted on your resume prior to the hiring of TAs for the following academic year.

Participants in the TAPP Program are required to attend four sessions hosted by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. A list of events is available at the Taylor Institute website.  The Taylor Institute also has a program for Teaching Assistants called the Teaching Assistant Readiness Program (TARP).  It can be completed online in about a 6-week period.  Courses from TARP, however, are not available to be taken individually for fulfillment of the TAPP program with Werklund.

All participants in the TAPP program will do two class observations, preferably one classroom session and one online session.  During these observations, participants are encouraged to take notes on the instructor's practice in the classroom and reflect on what they would integrate into their own practice and other observations about what occurred during the class.

Teaching Assistant Preparation Program 2

TAPP 1 graduates, along with graduate students who are current working as Graduate Teaching Assistants, form a community of practice.  The purpose is to create a teaching and learning network to support the practice of being a teaching assistant in the Werklund School of Education. The community of practice will determine the topics they will work on when they have their first meeting on September 25, 2024. For the last few years this community of practice has focused on the creation of Philosophy of teaching statements and teaching dossiers.  Meetings will occur on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 2:00 to 3:00pm, face to face and via Zoom.

If you wish to join TAPP 2, please email tandl@ucalgary.ca.

Teaching Assistant Preparation Program 3

Former TAPP graduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars have an opportunity to continue developing their teaching capacity by participating in a peer mentoring on teaching or teaching triangles-squares initiative. The focus of this initiative is to provide graduate students and post-doctoral scholars with facilitated support for scaffolding their teaching.