Teaching Assistants

The objective of the Teaching Excellence Awards for Teaching Assistants is to recognize publicly the contributions, which teaching assistants make towards the achievement of excellence in undergraduate education and to honour those who have made exceptional contributions to teaching.


Any person who is currently a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto Mississauga or who was a teaching assistant during the past academic year may be nominated for an award.   Groups (student organizations, groups of self-selected individuals, departments, etc.) and individuals (students, alumni, other teaching assistants, staff, faculty, etc.) may submit nominations for teaching awards.
Nominators are encouraged to read the following guidelines carefully prior to submitting a nomination.

Award Criteria

  • outstanding effectiveness as an instructor
  • excellent command of the subject area
  • skills in organizing, developing and presenting course material
  • creativity in teaching
  • implementation of innovative techniques that facilitate learning
  • sensitivity to student learning needs
  • curriculum vitae/resume

Submission Requirements

The nominator should include a covering letter that explains the reasons for nominating the teaching assistant and supporting evidence as follows:

  • course evaluations (student opinion surveys if any exist)
  • evaluation of the teaching assistant by the course director
  • letters from faculty members who have observed the teaching assistant
  • letters from current and/or former students
  • samples of teaching aids / materials developed by the teaching assistant
It is not expected that a nomination would include all the above evidence.  Departments have different expectations of their teaching assistants.  Those making nominations should be selective in the type and amount of evidence they collect to support the nominations.

Format of the Nomination Package

  1. All nominations should be clearly and neatly labeled, with appropriate sub-headings
  2. Please use a table of contents and title page to introduce the dossier
  3. The different sections of the dossier should be indicated or divided with pages that are appropriately titled (sheets NOT tabs)
  4. Please do not use staples - the package can be submitted loosely or paper clipped in an envelope
  5. Please make sure that the principal nominator's contact information is included in the dossier

The following list provides a guideline on how to organize the information:

  • A letter from the principal nominator.
  • A list of those who have written letters supporting the nomination. This list shows all the constituencies represented.
  • A summary of the important points brought forth in the letters. The summary should include pertinent quotations with the surname, in parenthesis, of the person who wrote the letter.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • The supporting letters, in the same order as shown on the list.
  • The course evaluations (if any).
  • Any other relevant material such as examples of teaching materials
Please ensure that all sections of the nomination package are submitted as one package at the same time.

Number of Awards

The role of teaching assistants varies by discipline.  They are instructors, discussion leaders, tutors, laboratory demonstrators, markers, advisors, etc.  Since it is impossible to compare teaching assistants who have different roles, up to three (3) awards may be made in any one year.  The actual number of awards made in each year will be dependent upon the quality of the nominations received.  Although the Awards Committee may wish to give one award in each of the three academic divisional areas, they are not required to do so.  In exceptional circumstances, more than one award may be given in a division in any.