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.

Postdoctoral researchers enrolled in the Teaching Transcript Program can sign up for and attend AI Orientation in order to complete that teaching transcript requirement.  To sign up, postdoctoral researchers should email Sandra Moskovitz at the McGraw Center.

AI Orientation to Teaching - Spring 2020

Thursday, January 30

Breakfast and Registration

Frist 3rd Floor
9:30-9:45 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions 

Frist 302
9:45-10:00 a.m. 

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

Basics of Effective Teaching in Your Discipline*

10:05 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 


Frist 2nd and 3rd Floors
12:00-12:45 p.m. 

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

12:45-2:30 p.m. 


Frist 2nd and 3rd Floors
2:30-2:45 p.m.

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

2:45-4:00 p.m. 

Friday, January 31


Frist 3rd Floor
8:45-9:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 


Offered in concurrent sessions for graduate students in either humanities/social sciences or sciences/engineering and 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: These are not sessions on graduate student writing; they are sessions on how to grade undergraduate student writing.

Grading Student Writing in the Humanities/Social Sciences

Seating is limited. RSVP by Wednesday, January 29
Princeton Writing Program staff
1:30-3:00 p.m. in Frist 330

Grading Student Writing in the Sciences/Engineering

This session has been cancelled. However, if you are interested in joining the Grading Student Writing in the Humanities/Social Sciences section, please  RSVP as soon as possible.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

*Room assignments will be given on the 30th.
**Advance registration is required.