The ability to master a discipline and disseminate knowledge in a clear and concise manner is the true hallmark of a scholar. To foster the development of effective teaching skills, CMB students act as Teaching Assistants (TA) in undergraduate courses in genetics, biochemistry, biology, and microbiology. The responsibilities of the TA usually involve a minimum of 10 contact hours in the course or courses to which he/she is assigned. This normally involves teaching laboratory sections every week, attending prep sessions and lectures, and helping to proctor and grade examinations. Students begin teaching in the second semester of their first year and continue teaching during the first semester of their second year.
Teaching assistants receive guidance in their teaching techniques from the faculty member in charge of their laboratory sections. These faculty supervisors also prepare an evaluation and provide feedback on the TA’s teaching performance. Undergraduate students also complete evaluation forms for each TA. UVM’s Center for Teaching and Learning is an excellent source for teaching resources, and they offers numerous workshops and retreats to help CMB Ph.D. candidates refine their teaching skills.
In later years, CMB students can also help organize specialized short courses in techniques they have mastered, such as fluorescence microscopy or bioinformatics analyses.