Community of Practice ( Feb 07th 2020): Programming to meet your needs


Greetings all,

You are invited to the LFS TAs Community of Practice meeting.

Having a space to share insights or troubleshoot issues is an important part of your professional development. Our Community of Practice space is an informal get together of TAs once a month over coffee.

For the month of February, we would like to meet with both new and experienced TAs to better understand your needs. Your feedback is critical to improving our programming for your diverse needs.

Below are the details:

DATE: Friday February 07th | 10-11:00 AM


Please RSVP at this link:

Coffee will be provided!!

Best Regards,

Tebby and Lennie

Call for Nominations – 2019/20 UBC Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards


Subject: Killam GTA Awards – Nominations for 2020

January 8, 2020   (revised)

To:           Deans, UBC Vancouver
From:     Eric Eich, Vice-Provost and Associate VP Academic Affairs

Re:           Call for Nominations – 2019/20 UBC Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards

In recognition of the valuable role that Teaching Assistants play in our undergraduate programs, UBC annually awards sixteen Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.  Each Killam GTA Award includes a Certificate and $1,000.00.  These awards seek to recognize teaching excellence within our institution and to underscore the importance and value that UBC places on teaching and learning.

We are seeking Deans’ assistance in promoting this award opportunity in 2020.  We ask that you distribute this Call for Nominations to Heads and Directors, students and faculty members in all your teaching sites and post it in public spaces as appropriate.

In addition to the Killam awards, a Faculty may choose to establish its own GTA teaching award administered internally.

The procedure for submission of Killam GTA Award nominations follows, and includes a set of criteria approved by the Deans’ Committee when the awards were established.  The Criteria are described in Appendix I. 




The award is open to any UBC Graduate Teaching Assistant who acts or has acted in this position at UBC Vancouver during the current and/or preceding academic year (2019-20 and/or 2018-19).


Nomination Process:

Nominations should be encouraged from faculty supervisors (professors, senior laboratory instructors) of the Graduate Teaching Assistant nominee, from colleagues working closely with the nominee, and from students who attend/attended the nominee’s class or laboratory. GTAs can also self-nominate for the award.

Each Faculty will determine how nominations will be encouraged and gathered within that Faculty.  The Head’s or Director’s Office collects the nomination packages and submits them to the Dean’s Office for adjudication.  See below the deadlines for submission and adjudication.  Following adjudication, the Dean’s Office notifies the Provost Office of the selected winner(s).

Please note that there is no application form.  The application takes the form of a teaching dossier and supporting documentation, from either the student/peer/faculty nominating party or the self-nominee.  Please see Appendix II for guidelines for compiling the dossier and supporting documentation.

If the TA work is performed in a Department other than the TA’s “home” Department (where he/she is registered), the nomination package should be submitted to the Department in which the work is performed, and the home Department should be notified of the nomination.  Should the nominee become a winner, both Departments should be mentioned when the Dean’s Office submits the winner’s name to the Provost Office.


Nomination Deadlines:

  • By March 6th, 2020 — Individual nomination packages must be submitted to Melanie Train (
  • Following the adjudication process, the Dean’s Office will forward the name of the winner(s) to the Office of the Provost and VP Academic, via email to by Friday, March 27, 2020, along with the following information:
  1. current home mailing address
  2. email address
  3. Social Insurance Number (for Payroll to process the financial award) *may be provided by telephone
  4. name, title and email address of the TA’s immediate supervisor
  5. name and email address of the Department/Unit Head

Faculties are asked to refrain from announcing the results until the winners’ list has been posted to the Provost Office website (  The list will be posted approximately 1-2 weeks following the March 27th deadline above, and following the congratulatory letter that is sent to each winner from the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice‑President Academic Affairs.  The Provost Office will notify Deans’ Offices when the list has been posted.

Adjudication Process:

As decided by the Committee of Deans in the late 1990s, Faculties are responsible for adjudicating their awards.  A committee should be struck by each Dean’s Office to review the nominations from Departments.  It is suggested that each committee consist of three Graduate Teaching Assistants who are recognized as effective teachers, three faculty or laboratory supervisors of GTAs, and up to three recent teaching award winners in the faculty. A committee Chair will be chosen by, and from within, the committee.  The attached criteria in Appendix I should be used by the committee to determine nominees’ teaching effectiveness.

The 16 centrally-funded awards have been split among faculties on a per-capita (of Teaching Assistants) basis, using figures submitted by CUPE 2278.  See Appendix III of this document for the breakdown and eligibility by Faculty for this round.

Appendices Attached: 

Appendix I:      Criteria
Appendix II:     Guidelines for Preparing Nominations
Appendix III:    Distribution of Awards by Faculty


 If you have any questions about the overall process, please contact Selina Fast,, Office of the Provost and VP Academic, or visit:

For questions about format and length of nomination packages, and the Faculty adjudication process, please contact the relevant Dean’s Office.


Effective Teaching Criteria
for anyone preparing a nomination package, and for the Adjudication Committee

Successful candidates will have demonstrated skills, abilities and contributions that result in a high level of respect from undergraduate students and academic or course supervisors, in several of the following areas.  The successful candidate:

  1. demonstrates a broad knowledge of the field and the ability to help students actively learn new knowledge, skills and perspectives, evidenced by student/supervisor feedback and relevant grades:
  • explains information clearly and logically;
  • organizes effective presentations, fieldwork or discussion groups that maximize student learning;
  • constructively evaluates student presentations;
  • actively helps students to learn transferable skills such as oral and verbal communication, problem solving, critical thinking, numeracy, teamwork, leadership.
  1. shows evidence of working in a collegial manner with students, faculty supervisors and Graduate Teaching Assistant colleagues:
  • works with other graduate students or faculty to improve the learning environment for students;
  • demonstrates rapport with and support of undergraduate students through active listening strategies and actions;
  • encourages student collaboration through group projects and presentations.
  1. shows evidence of incorporating new teaching skills learned through workshops, seminars and/or self-directed learning.
  1. shows evidence of reflection and action on personal and professional development needs within the scope of the Teaching Assistant position.
  1. acts as a role model, demonstrating high standards, good listening skills and ethics:
  • demonstrates reliability and availability within the scope of the TA job description;
  • encourages and supports diversity and equity within and beyond the classroom;
  • returns assignments quickly, with useful constructive feedback (oral and/or written);
  • is involved in community service as part of the position (for example, involvement in science fairs, open houses, undergraduate/graduate events).


Guidelines for Preparing the Nomination Submissions
There is no application form for this award.  Rather, the nominating party (or the nominee if this is a self-nomination) must compile a dossier of information about the nominee’s work as a TA, and include the requirements listed below, addressing the Criteria set out in Appendix I.  The nominating party collects the information from the nominee and other sources as noted and forwards the dossier to the Head’s or Director’s Office by the deadline of March 6, 2020.


  • a summary of recent teaching responsibilities — including number of students, type of teaching undertaken, hours per week in the classroom, and average time spent constructively in consultation with students and supervisors in carrying out Teaching Assistantship duties.  If applicable, include activities from the preceding year;
  • a statement of the candidate’s values and assumptions about teaching and learning in higher education (less than one page in length);
  • any formal feedback from students, colleagues and/or supervisors (in the form of student evaluations, letters, or related material) which addresses the stated criteria for this award; and
  • a demonstration of the candidate’s contributions to teaching over time (for example, as a Teaching Assistant or marker, and ability to teach a course on his/her own).



  • a description of a recent instructional opportunity or problem faced by the Teaching Assistant, outlining steps taken toward resolution of the issue;
  • an example of written or oral feedback given by the Teaching Assistant to students in a laboratory, tutorial, fieldwork or clinical situation, or course.  This could take the form of comments on lab reports or tutorial assignments, essays, or other submissions which the Teaching Assistant has directly overseen; or
  • further relevant examples of interest and involvement in teaching and student learning; for example, participation in teaching enhancement seminars and workshops, independent reading in the field of teaching in higher education, or involvement on Departmental or other University committees which examine teaching and learning issues.

It is suggested that support letters be addressed to “To whom it may concern”.

For questions about length and format of the dossier, please contact the Dean’s Office.

Distribution of Awards

Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards are distributed to Faculties on a per-capita basis, and some are shared between Faculties.  The award allocation is:

Faculty                                                            # of Awards

Science                                                                                           5

Arts                                                                                                 3

Applied Science                                                                           3

Education                                                                                      2

Medicine / Dentistry                                                                  1

Land and Food Systems / Forestry                                          1

Allard School of Law / Sauder School of Business                1

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences funds its own award specifically for Teaching Assistants within the Faculty and is not part of the allocation process.

The shared awards are distributed on an alternate-year cycle.

The 2019/2020 distribution is shown in the table below:  (revised)

Faculty # of Awards


Allard School of Law 0

1 (this round)

Applied Science   3
Arts   3
Dentistry   0 (eligible again in 2020-21)
Education   2
Forestry 1

0 (eligible again in 2020-21)

Land and Food Systems   1 (this round)
Medicine   1 (this round)
Sauder School of Business   0 (eligible again in 2020-21)
Science   5





2020 TA Institute


The TA Institute takes place from January 13 – 16 on the UBC Vancouver campus and is open to any graduate student who is interested in teaching or TAing.

This year, the TA Institute will focus on five different themes: inclusive, student-centered learning; teaching career preparations; teaching fundamentals; transformative growth in learning; and interdisciplinary and experiential learning.

See the schedule of events and register here.


Dear all,
Happy New Year LFS TAs. We hope you had a restful break and are looking forward to this new season.
Please join us at the LFS TA Term 2 Orientation to get an overview of your responsibilities and rights, understand instructor expectations, gain technical skills, and meet your fellow TAs and share experiences. Please register by January 12th 2020 by filling out this form:
Date: Friday, January 17th
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM 
Venue: AGORA basement – MacMillan Building. 
On another note, please fell free to visit the 
2020 TA Institute for more events:

***Beverages and lunch will be provided – Please indicate dietary restrictions when you register***
Bring your laptops or tablets.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with either Tebby or Lennie
Kind regards,
Tebby Leepile:
Lennie Cheung:
Teaching Assistant Training Coordinators | Land and Food Systems