Teaching Assistant in Writing (Pushkin Summer Institute at UW-Madison)


Teaching Assistants in Writing

The Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia—with funding from the Brittingham Trust—seeks two graduate teaching assistants with a passion for literature and prior experience with teaching composition for the 2018 Pushkin Summer Institute at UW-Madison. Each position will be a 7-week, 45%-time appointment (total compensation will be approximately $3,161). The teaching assistants in writing will work under the direction of David Bethea, Professor Emeritus in Slavic and Faculty Director of the PSI.

Required Orientation: June 18 – June 22; Classes: June 25 – August 3, 2018.

About the Pushkin Summer Institute

The Pushkin Summer Institute (PSI) is an intensive pre-college summer program aimed at high-school students from underrepresented communities. This six-week program combines the intensive study of Russian language, culture, and civilization with residential living in a UW-Madison dormitory in order to stimulate interest in Russian studies; build critical thinking, reading, and writing skills; and prepare students for the demands of college life. The PSI curriculum centers on Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s national poet. PSI scholars participate in a rigorous program comprised of non-credit courses on Russian language (with funding from STARTALK and based on STARTALK principles), as well as lectures on the life and work of Pushkin, workshops on Russian culture, study skills, and preparing to succeed in college. Scholars also participate in on- and off-campus extracurricular activities and field trips. For more information on the PSI, see http://pushkin.wisc.edu/


Applicants must:

  • Be UW-Madison graduate students in good academic standing
  • Have prior experience as a teaching assistant for a literature course
  • Have prior experience in teaching composition to students

Prior experience reading or teaching Russian literature is a plus, but is not required.

Job Expectations

This position requires the teaching assistants to work closely with Professor Bethea and with the PSI scholars, who will be in residence on the UW-Madison campus from June 24-August 4, 2018. The work will be scheduled, and will be sequenced over several days of the week, as follows:

  1. Sunday: Develop a composition prompt (1 hour)
  2. Monday 2:30-3:30 pm: Co-lead (the two TAs will collaborate) a weekly writing workshop/seminar with the PSI students (1 hour, plus 3 hours prep time = 4 hours)
  3. Tuesday 2:30-4:30: Attend lecture on Alexander Pushkin by David Bethea, the PSI faculty director (1 hour) and attend weekly PSI staff meeting (1 hour)
  4. Wednesday 7:00-8:30 pm: Assist students with drafting essays (1.5 hours)
  5. Thursday 10:00 am-2:00 pm: Collect and grade student essays (4 hours/ essays need to be collected at 10:00 am, but TAs can grade them at any time on Thursday and/or Friday morning)
  6. Friday 2:30-5:00 pm: Hold conferences with students to discuss their graded essays (2.5 hours)
  7. Additional meetings with Professor Bethea and students; scheduled as needed (3 hours)

Total workload: 18 hours per week (18/40=45%).

How to Apply

The application deadline is Friday, April 6, 2018. All applicants should provide the following:

  1. A brief (maximum of one page) letter of application describing their teaching experience and training and addressing their interest in the Pushkin Summer Institute
  2. A current CV or resume
  3. A copy of the UW-Madison “student record” (e.g. “unofficial transcript)


  1. Names and contact information of two professional references who know the applicant’s experience with teaching writing and literature. (It is not necessary to submit reference letters; the selection committee will contact the references of finalists.)

These documents (letter, CV, student record, list of references) should be combined into a single PDF. This file should be named in the following format:  APPLICANT’S LAST NAME_PSI Writing TA 2018. Send the single PDF to psi@creeca.wisc.edu by the application deadline of April 6, 2018.


Employer: CREECA On Busline?: Yes
Pay: $1804.00/month Posted: 03/16/2018
Category:  Graduate Assistant Deadline: 04/06/2018
# of Positions: 2

Contact Information

Name: Jennifer Tishler
Email Address: jtishler@creeca.wisc.edu
Address: 1155 Observatory Drive 210 Ingraham Hall Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Primary Phone: 608-262-3379
Read the full article at: https://jobcenter.wisc.edu/jobs/detail/53071