Teaching as a Graduate Assistant
Most of our graduate students are supported as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). The starting salary for a nine-month GTA appointment is about $18,100. Students teaching during the summer months receive additional stipends.
Our teaching assistantships are half-time (20 hours/week) positions. New GTAs generally teach in situations with a lot of support structure: discussion sections in the Kansas Algebra Program (KAP) or as helpers in large lecture calculus classes; or an individual section of precalculus. More advanced GTAs usually teach two sections of business calculus (3 hours each) or one section of engineering calculus (5 hours each). GTAs within a year or two of the Ph.D. may also be given more challenging teaching assignments or a higher level course in the summer.
Teaching support and training
Our GTAs receive a lot of support for their teaching duties. KAP holds regular meetings and training sessions through the semester. Faculty teaching large lecture sections coordinate closely with their GTAs. In calculus courses with common exams, the course coordinator meets semi-regularly with the teaching staff. During their first semester, new mathematics GTAs take a seminar on teaching. Both faculty and more experienced GTAs are always available for consultation.
The week before classes start, an university-wide all-day mandatory seminar for GTAs is held by the Center for Teaching Excellence. Within the mathematics department, we hold a general orientation, a four-hour teaching training workshop, and calculator workshops before classes start.
The intense training of our GTAs and their serious dedication to their teaching duties have earned several of our students teaching awards both at the department and university levels.