AI Orientation

Most graduate students will teach at Princeton as Assistants in Instruction (AIs), and while the roles AIs play vary across the university, there is no question that AIs play a significant and meaningful role in undergraduate education at Princeton. AIs are found meeting in small groups with students, leading discussions and problem-solving sessions, teaching labs, consulting with students in office hours, grading and assisting in the design and delivery of courses.

To help you prepare for these important, skilled roles, the Graduate School requires all first-time AIs at Princeton to attend the McGraw Center’s orientation to teaching.

During Orientation you will:

* learn effective research-based teaching strategies specific to your discipline
* gain information about campus resources to support you in your work as AIs
* practice teaching and get feedback from experienced teachers
* embark on or continue your professional development as teachers, which can enhance your CVs for both academic and non-academic careers.

Graduate students attend AI Orientation (AIO) right before they start teaching. Departments register their graduate students for Orientation, so you should consult with your department to see if you’ve been registered. You should not attend AIO until you’re actually beginning your AI duties.

Spring 2017 Schedule

Thursday, February 2

9:15-9:45 a.m.

Breakfast & Registration  -- Frist 3rd Floor 

9:45-10:05 a.m.


Welcome and Introduction  -- Frist 302

Sarah Schwarz, Associate Director for Teaching Initiatives and Programs, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

Regan Crotty, Title IX Administrator, Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity

10:05 a.m.- Noon

Basics of Effective Teaching in Your Discipline*

Noon -12:45 p.m.

Lunch -- Frist 2nd and 3rd Floors 

12:45-2:30 p.m.

What Do I Do If...? Teaching Challenges and How to Meet Them in Your Discipline*

2:30-2:45 p.m.

Break -- Frist 2nd and 3rd Floors 

2:45-4:00 p.m.

Follow-up, Review, and Preparation for Micro-teaching


Friday, February 3

8:45-9:00 a.m.


9:00-12:30 a.m.




Grading Student Writing -- Friday, February 3, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

This workshop, offered in concurrent sessions for graduate students in either humanities/social sciences or sciences/engineering, will focus on concrete strategies for bringing increased objectivity and consistency to grading student writing--without using quotas or curves.  Participants will also learn about quick, effective ways to guide their students through the writing process and elicit stronger papers. Each workshop will be led by staff from the Princeton Writing Program.

Please note: This is not a session on graduate student writing; it is a session on how to grade undergraduate student writing.

Grading Student Writing in the Humanities/Social SciencesPrinceton Writing Program staff, in Frist 307

Grading Student Writing in the Sciences and EngineeringPrinceton Writing Program staff, in Frist 309



*Room assignments will be given on the 8th.

**Advance session registration is required.