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Teaching Guide for Graduate Student Instructors
GSI Teaching & Resource Center

Teaching Guide for GSIs

Welcome (or Welcome Back) to Teaching at UC Berkeley!

At any given time, approximately 1,600 GSIs are teaching on the campus. They lead discussion sections and labs in large-enrollment courses; they guide student work in studios and stand-alone foreign language and Reading and Compositions courses. In these small-group settings, GSIs guide the intellectual growth of undergraduates by planning and executing section activities, mentoring students through research projects and paper writing, and evaluating and giving feedback on assignments, exams, and papers. No undergraduate leaves Berkeley without having been influenced by numerous GSIs.

As a national leader in preparing graduate students for teaching, Berkeley is one of the few universities in the country that have a comprehensive policy on GSI mentoring (see summary of the policy’s provisions for GSI preparation for teaching). This policy supports your professional development as a teacher and prepares you for the teaching you will do here at Berkeley and in future academic and nonacademic careers. Research suggests that graduate students who work on developing their skills as teachers have an easier time staying on track with their research when they pursue tenure as junior faculty.

The role of the GSI Teaching & Resource Center is to support your professional development as an instructor. In the first semester, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of teaching through the Center’s Teaching Conference for GSIs and the semester-long 300-level course on teaching and learning offered by your department. You will also benefit from the Center’s online course on professional standards and ethics in teaching that will lay the groundwork for your teaching for many years to come. The skills that you begin to develop in your first semester can be enhanced in future semesters through various programs offered by the Center such as workshops on teaching, research groups, individual consultations and classroom observations, and workshops on developing a teaching portfolio.

We wish you all the best in teaching at Berkeley and invite you to contact us should you need assistance. Together with these resources, this online Teaching Guide is intended to support first-time GSIs while also providing valuable advice, materials, and links that you can use throughout your teaching at Berkeley and well beyond.

Linda von Hoene, Ph.D.
GSI Teaching & Resource Center


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