The Auburn Hotel was buzzing with enthusiasm and energy as nearly 80 new GTA’s to Auburn University assembled to prepare for the new semester on Monday January 7th. This Spring GTA Orientation was the first ever hosted by the Biggio Center. Its concept had been in the works for years, and the Biggio Center finally had the capabilities to put it on this year.
GTA’s from a variety of colleges and departments across campus attended the afternoon event. Orientation began with a welcome by Biggio Center director Dr. Jim Groccia and associate director Dr. Raj Chaudhury. GTA fellows guided new GTA’s through their first week responsibilities and possibilities for starting off the semester right.
The large group dispersed into break-out sessions that included information and tutorials about using technology in the classroom, teaching lab sections, effective discussion strategies, and what to do when there’s trouble in the classroom. All break out sessions were crafted and led by Biggio Center GTA fellows, a select group of doctoral and masters students who participate in professional development activities through the Biggio Center. The end of the afternoon brought excitement for a raffle- several participants won Biggio Center mugs and travel thermoses.
The Biggio Center hosts a larger scale orientation in the fall for new faculty and GTA’s. This spring orientation was geared specifically to assist new graduate students entering Auburn University who hold a teaching position in some capacity as well as current Auburn graduate students who will be teaching for the first time in the spring. In keeping with the Biggio Center’s mission to enhance teaching and learning on campus, this new orientation is vital in ensuring that new GTA’s on campus feel prepared and confident before teaching Auburn students for the first time. Spring orientation fills a gap that had previously left GTA’s with little information before getting started in their new roles.
Because of the orientation’s success, it is an event the Biggio Center intends to host every spring for new GTA’s.