Departments typically provide space for GSIs to hold their office hours. Check with the staff in your teaching department to find out where your office space is located and obtain a key. Find out whether it is a shared space. If it is, you may wish to work with your office mate(s) to stagger office hours. Be considerate in sharing this space.


Visit the classroom where you will be teaching before your first class day. Scope out the route and time how long it takes to get to the classroom from your office. Notice the chalkboard or whiteboard and envision how much space it will afford for outlines, notes, etc. Think about how you will set up the desks in the classroom to facilitate learning. Speak aloud to see how your voice sounds in the room and how much you will need to project.

During the week before courses start, check the Classrooms Information Database to find out what equipment is available in your classroom. This is an extremely useful page, with detailed information about using each piece of equipment and ways to troubleshoot problems. Take your computer or any other input devices you plan to use in your section to your assigned classroom and do a test run. Do you have all the right cables? Does your computer talk to the projector? Do all the programs you plan to use work in the room set-up? If you have videos embedded in PowerPoint, for example, do they play the way you want them to? Is the campus wireless network signal strong enough? Is the audio coming through the room’s sound system? What further questions do you have?

Detailed information about classroom equipment appears on the page Technology in the Classroom.

Research, Teaching, and Learning (RTL) Classroom Support

Staff members at RTL can help you get started with classroom sound, projection, recording, or other technology. Here are ways you can learn about RTL support for classrooms, look up frequently asked questions, or request assistance: