Every student in the Laney Graduate School pursuing a PhD degree at Emory must complete the Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO) Program.  For GDBBS students, this consists of the following:

1) TATTO 600: A summer teacher training workshop sponsored by the Laney Graduate School;

2) Completion of the Program’s experience in “Teaching in the Biosciences”;

3) TATTO 605: Serving as a Teaching Assistant for one semester.

TATTO 600: Summer Teaching Workshop

The summer teaching workshop sponsored by the Laney Graduate School usually occurs immediately prior to the beginning of the fall semester and is the first stage of teacher training. No student may engage in any classroom related teaching activities in their training Program until completion of the summer workshop. GDBBS students typically complete TATTO 600 just before the start of their second year. However, this may be adjusted depending upon an individual student's previous training, academic needs, or expectations of the Program.

Program Experience in "Teaching in the Biosciences"

Discipline-specific experience and training in teaching is accomplished through participation in the Program’s seminar courses. Student participation in these seminars teaches them to: a) lecture, b) manage class discussion, c) evaluate student (peer) writing, d) use audio-visual equipment, e) communicate to undergraduate and/or graduate (including medical) students, f) prepare research seminars, g) communicate research data to peers, etc. Participation in these seminars reinforces material covered in the graduate school summer workshop and addresses subjects and problems particularly related to each specific Program discipline. The Division faculty is firmly committed to assuring that the graduate seminar courses provide each student with ample exposure to, and experience with discipline-specific teaching methods. Students will participate in the seminar course for the number of semesters required by their Program.

TATTO 605: Teaching Assistantship

All students in the GDBBS will serve as a Teaching Assistant for one semester during the academic year immediately following participation in the TATTO 600 summer workshop. Teaching Assistants will be supervised by the faculty instructor of record in all duties assigned.  Those duties may include any combination of the following:

  • Giving lectures
  • Serving as a laboratory instructor or assistant
  • Leading discussion sections
  • Holding office hours
  • Holding review sessions prior to exams
  • Helping with the preparation of handouts or lab materials
  • Helping to administer exams
  • Grading undergraduate assignments and/or exams

*Faculty instructors should note that TAs are not permitted to grade or formally evaluate student work in graduate courses.

Faculty instructors and TAs should discuss specific duties prior to and throughout the term.  TAs should be engaged in their TA duties for up to 10-12 hours/week throughout the term.

To solidify a TA match, the interested student and faculty instructor should complete the GDBBS Teaching Assistant Request Form and submit it to the GDBBS Assistant Director of Student Affairs prior to the start of the term in which they will work together.  Any questions about the teaching plans or match will be referred to the Division Director for guidance and direction. Once any questions or concerns are resolved, the GDBBS Assistant Director of Student Affairs will confirm the request and ensure the student is enrolled in TATTO 605 for the term.  Any TA placement completed without submission of this form may not count towards TATTO 605 credit.

At the end of the term, the faculty instructor will complete an evaluation survey noting the quality of the work the TA performed that term.  The faculty instructor will note a grade of Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) for their TA. A grade of U will result in probation and the student will likely have to repeat TATTO 605 and earn a satisfactory grade.  Failure to submit the evaluation in a timely manner may result in the faculty instructor no longer being allowed to host GDBBS TAs.

Additional Information

For additional information, students and faculty can refer to the TATTO section of the GDBBS Handbook and/or contact the Interim GDBBS Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Emily Neutens.