The Lead Graduate Teacher and the Graduate Teacher Program

Teaching assistantships (TA positions) and graduate-student instructorships (GPTI positions) are a primary source of financial support for Linguistics graduate students, and these assignments are important preparation for academic careers. The Linguistics departments offers an official list of TA expectations to all current and prospective teaching assistants.

TA and GPTI assignments, although rewarding, can be stressors, because they require graduate students to balance teaching, coursework and research responsibilities. The mission of the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP) is to assist graduate students in their teaching and professional development. To this end, the GTP offers a variety of services to all graduate teachers and TAs:

If you are an international student serving as a TA for the first time, you may face challenges adjusting to new expectations about the amount of assistance students receive, how student work is evaluated, how students interact with you and how they behave in the classroom. Although the Lead Graduate Teacher is here to help with these issues, we also strongly recommend that new international TAs attend as many international TA training workshops as possible.

Each year the Linguistics department faculty selects a Lead Graduate Teacher, who is then trained by the Graduate Teacher Program. The Lead’s role is to help support Linguistics graduate students who are currently teaching recitations, labs or full courses, as well as those who plan to do so in the future.

The Lead Graduate Teacher undergoes a comprehensive training program addressing academic management, learning styles, cultural differences, teaching styles and how to effectively consult on teaching. Once trained, the Lead then returns to the department to assist with training of new TAs, conduct a pre-semester teaching orientation, and to help TAs achieve the requirements for GTP certification.

Most important of all: remember that the Lead Graduate Teacher is here for you. We have been trained to consult with other teachers using videotape consultations, microteaching sessions, pedagogical theory and supportive classroom observations, and we're always happy to talk with you about any teaching-related problems or questions you may have. We've also been given information about many different resources around campus which can help you as a graduate teacher.

You can also get more information on becoming a Lead and the Graduate Teacher Program, as well as a full schedule of GTP-sponsored events at the GTP website. You can also see a list of discipline-specific offerings for Linguistics graduate teachers on the CU Linguistics Department GTP Events page.

Your 2014-2015 Lead Graduate Teacher

Nick Williams, Linguistics GTP Lead
Email: nicholas.j.williams (at)
Office: Hellems 291
Fall Office Hours: Wednesday, 1:00-3:00 PM, or by appointment, please email!

If you have any questions, please, don't hesitate to contact me to find out how I can best support you as a teacher or GPTI.


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