Penn Graduate Student Center

Navigating the Classroom

About Navigating the Classroom

Navigating the Classroom seeks to help graduate teaching assistants be successful in the classroom through workshops and resources. This program is cosponsored by Penn Graduate Student Center and GAPSA.

The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Library offer extensive programming to assist graduate student teachers in the classroom.

Teaching Workshops

Center for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate Student Center co-sponsor a series of workshops for graduate students, especially TAs, who are interested in learning and improving their teaching skills.

CTL Mini-Course: Evidence-Based Teaching

Monday, April 27, 2015, 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Room 305 (3rd Floor), 3615 Locust Walk

This four-meeting mini course is designed to give graduate students and post-docs an introduction to research applicable to student learning which may be translated into concrete teaching strategies across the disciplines.  As a group, we will read Susan Ambrose et al., How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (2010), which is available as an e-book through Franklin.  For the seminar to work, participants need to commit to doing this reading. CTL will offer one section in the Spring of 2015 on Mondays from 5:00 to 7:00. The seminar will meet April 6, 13, 20 and 27.

To register or for more information contact Ian Petrie. ***Please note that registering here does not automatically get you into the course--it simply forwards your email to Ian.***

Making Class Time Support Your Teaching

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Conference Room (2nd Floor), 3615 Locust Walk

This workshop is designed to help you think about concrete ways to use class time in the summer session. Beginning with some of the goals both for content and for thinking that many of us outlined in the last workshop (although you are welcome to come even if you did not come to the first), this workshop will focus on how to use class time to reach those goals. Participants will be encouraged to think about ways to get students active and engaged even in classes that will be primarily lecture. Participants will also consider how they can help students prepare for papers and exams during class, as well as how to organize their classes to make sure students stay excited and energized about the subject matter despite the distractions of summer. Led by Peter Sachs Collopy.

Apply Now!

Help Lead TA Training - $1500 stipend!

Every year the Center for Teaching and Learning asks experienced TAs to apply to help train new TAs. The Center needs students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities to lead new TAs in workshops such as:

  • Grading in the Humanities and Qualitative Social Sciences
  • Grading in the Sciences, Engineering and Quantitative Social Sciences
  • Leading Discussions in the Humanities
  • Leading Discussion in the Sciences and Quantitative Social Sciences
  • Teaching Problem-Solving Sessions in Engineering
  • Teaching Problem-Solving Recitations in the Sciences and Quantitative Social Sciences
  • Being an Effective Lab TA

Trainers will prepare to train other TAs by participating in several day-long workshops. Applicants should expect to be available for three days in May and must be available during the entire week of August 17-August 21. They will receive a $1,500 stipend.

You can find a copy of the application here:

Applications (which should include the applicant’s CV) are due Friday February 20th. You may send completed applications electronically to

If you have questions about TA training contact Stan Najmr at or SaraEllen Strongman at

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Weekends: 12 NOON-6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221