On campus, you will find numerous resources and trainings for becoming an effective teacher and mentor. Expanding your toolbox of instructional techniques will be beneficial regardless of the career you choose to pursue after graduate school. For those interested in teaching-related careers, developing teaching skills has obvious value, but for those planning to pursue non-teaching jobs, the skills you learn as a teacher are transferable to a variety of careers. Instructional techniques can broadly help cultivate important skills such as oral communication, active listening, managing teams and leading meetings (including remotely), assessing the work of others, and problem solving.

Steps You Can Take

Get Familiar with the GSI Teaching & Resource Center

The GSI Teaching and Resource Center is your go-to campus office to find resources and support for all things related to teaching and mentoring. The GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s Online Teaching Guide provides guidance on every step of teaching, from pre-semester preparation to collecting student evaluations on your teaching at the end of the semester. The Center also offers regular workshops on teaching, which are a key place to learn about essential teaching techniques. If you have questions or concerns about teaching, you can sign up for free and confidential consultations with a staff member from the Center. The GSI Online Library offers additional online resources, including essays on teaching techniques, guidance for international GSIs, and materials from past workshops.


Take Workshops on Teaching and Learning

Each semester the GSI Teaching & Resource Center conducts a variety of workshops to help you develop your teaching skills and knowledge of pedagogy. To learn about how to assess your students’ learning, you may consider attending the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s workshop “Creating and Using Grading Rubrics”, which is offered each semester. To learn how to assess the impact of your teaching on student learning, take the workshop “Assessing Teaching and Learning”. These workshops and resources will also help you maintain a better work/life balance through time management, as you learn to do teaching tasks more efficiently and effectively.

If you are interested in careers outside of academia, you may be particularly interested in attending the workshop called “The Transferable Skills of Teaching,” which will help you to identify skills developed in teaching that are essential in a wide variety of careers. Selected handouts from this workshop are also available in the Workshop Handouts and Videos section of the GSI Online Library.


Undertake the Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

All graduate students have the opportunity to enroll in The Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which is designed to help you develop your classroom skills, prepare for teaching as a future faculty member, and professionally document your work as a teacher. The activities that are part of the certificate program include general and discipline-specific teaching skills such as developing a teaching portfolio, cultivating strategies for efficient and effective grading, and using digital technology in teaching and learning. 


Familiarize Yourself with Published Literature on Teaching and Mentoring

To familiarize yourself with research on how students learn, consider doing some background reading of published literature. You might start by visiting the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s page on how students learn. This page includes links to talks by UC Berkeley faculty on research into how students learn, and a list of core readings about how students learn.

Many disciplines have journals that publish articles specifically related to teaching and mentoring issues within the field. Investigate which teaching-specific journals may exist within your field or in fields closely related to yours. Consider reviewing these journals to get an idea of the types of research and conversations that take place within your discipline on the topics of teaching and learning. You may also consider reading some of the discipline-specific award-winning teaching ideas found in the Teaching Effectiveness Essays written by UC Berkeley GSIs.