Teaching Tips

As you may have noticed, teaching people math is non-trivial. There are countless barriers to learning math, and while a math grad student like you is lucky enough to have overcome those barriers with relative ease, most people are not. Figuring out how to get others past these obstacles successfully is challenging and, oftentimes, extremely subtle.

Indeed, people spend entire careers writing research papers about the best way to teach math. More practical-minded books abound as well, many of which can be found at the Center for Teaching Development (CTD) Teaching and Learning Commons (they'd be happy to make a reading suggestion for you). Of course, as a TA you are restricted in your role as a teacher: you don't set the syllabus, exams, or problem sets, and you generally don't get to present the material for the first time.

But there's still plenty enough flexibility for you to experiment a bit and develop/improve your own teaching style here. You may find some inspiration below:

  • Kowalski's Tips - Travis Kowalski was the Head TA back in the day, and made this page of teaching goodies.

  • Notes from Jeff Rabin - Professor Rabin gives a great presentation about teaching problem-solving in math. Here are some notes from his talk.