What to Expect at the GSI Teaching Conference
Sample Conference Schedule
8:00–8:30 Registration (Dwinelle Hall) Please bring your Cal Student ID card to register your attendance.
8:30–12:15 Discipline-Cluster Workshops: Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Foreign Languages (language courses only); Humanities (courses in non-Reading & Composition, non-foreign language courses only); Physical Sciences; and Social Sciences (quantitative)
Discipline-cluster workshops address getting started as a GSI, conducting the first day of class, strategies to enhance learning, grading, and time management. GSIs are placed into groups with similar teaching assignments.
1:00–3:00 Interactive Theater
“I learned so many things I was unaware of about being a GSI.”Computer Science
“Forced me to think more deeply about my role as a GSI.”Social Welfare
The D-C workshops group GSIs working in similar teaching assignments to address core topics for the first weeks of teaching, such as getting started as a GSI; conducting the first session of section, lab, or studio; strategies to enhance students’ learning; time management; and troubleshooting problem scenarios that can arise in teaching. Experienced GSIs in several disciplines lead the workshops, so first-time GSIs benefit from their knowledge of Cal students and of GSI responsibilities in their particular instructional setting.
“Very intense, captivating, eye opening. It was great, I would give it to everyone, professors, mentors, leaders.”
“The theater performance was very effective at highlighting sensitive issues and opening up space to discuss from a common experience.”
“Active Participation,” a brief play by Berkeley Interactive Theater, depicts an office-hour meeting among three students and their GSI in which the GSI tries to sort out how the students distributed duties in a group project. The scene is peppered with microaggressions, accusations, and challenges to the GSI’s authority, which the GSI struggles to respond to. After the short scene, audience members are invited to ask the characters questions about their behavior and motivations during the scene. The interactive performance served as the basis of an in-depth, participatory exploration of microaggressions, multiple perspectives on social situations, and productive ways that GSIs in their role as teachers can respond to situations while maintaining respect for the individuals involved.
A follow-up workshop, Creating Inclusive Classrooms, aims to further assist GSIs in understanding the character and consequences of microaggressions and in developing skills to identify and respond to them if they occur. The workshop is held each semester in the GSI Center’s Workshops on Teaching series.
Here are more resources on the topic of microaggressions:
Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions (pdf)
Tool: Interrupting Microaggressions (pdf)
Creating Inclusive Classrooms for Trans* and Gender Expansive Students (GenEq website)
GSI Resources Handout: Inclusion and Well-Being (pdf)
Online GSI Professional Standards and Ethics in Teaching course
Workshops on Teaching series
GSI teaching consultations