Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Q&A with GSTA Steering Committee

10 Mar 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Submitted by Laura T. Simon (Treasurer) and Adam Green (List-serv Monitor)

During these first few months of this new year, the GSTA Corner will be featuring brief interviews with all six members of our committee. This month, we are featuring this year’s Treasurer and Listserv Manager.

Type of doctoral program, year, & expected graduation:

Laura: I am a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at the Ohio State University. I am on track to graduate in August 2021, but I may extend until May 2022.

Adam: I am a third-year doctoral candidate in Applied Experimental Psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I hope to graduate either Summer of 2022 or Spring 2023

Classes you have taught and/or been a GTA for (undergraduate or graduate):

Laura: I have taught 8 sections of Introduction to Psychology at the Ohio State University. I was a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) for undergraduate Behavioral Neuroscience, as well as Social Psychology: The Self. I am hoping to teach undergraduate Psychology of Childhood or Lifespan Development for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Adam: As a graduate student, I have TAed for Introductory Psychology, Graduate Research Methods, Graduate Statistics, and Introductory Statistics/Research Methods. I hope to teach my own course (Social Psychology or Stats/Research Methods) in the coming semesters.

Experiences you have been able to participate in because of being a part of GSTA:

Laura: As a member of the GSTA, I have been able to disseminate information on teaching pedagogy, advocate for equity in the classroom, and share my love of teaching with fellow graduate student instructors.

Adam: I have been involved in contributing to and disseminating the GSTA Corner, writing blog posts on equity in schools, and working with the other committee members to best support graduate student teachers.

Benefits of GSTA on your professional development and future as an academic:

Laura: The GSTA provided additional leadership and service opportunities to support my future goals as an academic. I am grateful for the opportunities to collaborate with fellow GSTA steering committee members and graduate student instructors who are as passionate about teaching as I am.

Adam: I have gained experience in leadership, collaboration, and pedagogical practice from my activities with the committee. Simply having access to the other GSTA members has given me new perspectives, techniques, and priorities when it comes to my teaching style and goals.

Impact of GSTA on you personally:

Laura: Besides the relationships cultivated between the GSTA steering committee, I have felt personally and professionally supported by participating in the GSTA. My teaching has been invigorated and I have gained a great deal of satisfaction leading, assisting, and challenging other graduate student instructors to continue to grow in the classroom.

Adam: The GSTA committee is a group of people who truly love teaching. As I come from a program which is research/consulting based, having people like myself who take joy in teaching has been crucial for me in feeling supported and valued as a teacher. While we have not been able to attend conferences as a committee, I am hopeful that we will be able to in the future and can meet graduate student teachers that way.

Advice (teaching and/or research tips) for other graduate students:

Laura: Be yourself. I think it is easy for graduate student instructors to get weighed down by imposter syndrome or trying to be someone they are not. If you’re funny, use it to make students laugh and connect with the material! If you are serious, make the gravity of what you teach enhance your students’ empathy or the importance of the material. There is no “one right way” to teach, so teach your way!

Adam: I agree with everything Laura said. I would also add to be compassionate towards your students and anyone who works with you or under your supervision. We are teaching, and students are learning, in trying times. Do your best to work with your students to give them the best learning experience that they can have!

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