There will be diverse personalities found in your classroom. You will encounter students of different ethnicities, cultures, religions, and genders. You will be teaching students who have a wide variety of learning styles and abilities. As a TA, it is your responsibility to make your class a positive learning environment for all of your students. The University of British Columbia is a university committed to respecting and valuing diversity:
UBC’s Vision for the 21st Century
The University of British Columbia will provide its students, faculty, and staff with the best possible resources and conditions for learning and research, and create a working environment dedicated to excellence, equity, and mutual respect. It will cooperate with government, business, and industry, as well as with other educational institutions and the general community, to create new knowledge, prepare its students for fulfilling careers, and improve the quality of life through leading-edge research.
For tips with how to get the most from all your students, see “An Instructional Resource Guide for Teaching Assistants” produced by the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth (TAG).
For tips on dealing with diversity in the classroom, read DIVERSITY AND COMPLEXITY IN THE CLASSROOM by Barbara Davis. This article provides helpful advice on ways to make your teaching appeal to students of different learning types and abilities, and includes tips for making your class inclusive to students of all races, religions, cultures, and genders. Additionally, this article provides advice on how to reduce conflicts between part-time or mature students and younger students when group projects are assigned, conflicts that can be due to differences in experience, and authoritative tendencies, especially if the difference in ages is large.
The UBC Equity Office (http://www.equity.ubc.ca) provides training to promote awareness of human rights, equity, and diversity and to help prevent discrimination and harassment.
This website covers key topics relating to the histories, politics, and cultures of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, and provides instructors a place to begin exploring topics that relate to Aboriginal cultures. This site was developed by the First Nations Studies Program at thUBC, located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.