Questions concerning the use of graduate students as course instructors, usually under the supervision of a faculty member.

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7
votes
4answers
751 views

Feedback for a student showing improvement

One of the students whose work I'm grading has just handed in a piece of work which is much better than what I've come to expect of them after several classes. I was just about to write some rather ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What problems are caused by pedagogical blogging about a class?

I am a course TA and I instruct a class of about 20 undergrads. I'm planning to make a public pedagogy blog. I think there could be some potential problems with this. For example, if the students in ...
44
votes
10answers
8k views

What do I do as a depressed and incompetent TA?

My mental health is declining and as a result I haven't been a good TA. For example I let my students out of section early because I was too tired to present some of the material, and I did not ...
8
votes
2answers
878 views

Department not giving me TAships after a dispute with professor, what should I do?

I got in a dispute with a professor I TA'd for, and now my department is not giving me TAships. What should I do? I am required to teach more classes in my department in order to satisfy a ...
120
votes
8answers
12k views

Prof's neurological health is declining rapidly. What can I (TA) do?

I'm a law student acting as a teaching assistant/fellow for a tenured and notable law professor. Between last year when I took the course myself and now when I am a TA/TF, his mental acuity and health ...
1
vote
2answers
248 views

How does a prospective applicant fail to qualify for RAship, but fit the bill for TAship?

I wish to know how the Graduate Admissions Committees for top Universities in the USA decide about awarding Teaching Assistantship to a prospective student. If one had preferred both 'RAship' and ...
4
votes
2answers
199 views

As a TA, what should I do about an error in the professor's lecture that I repeated in the lecture notes?

Here is the somewhat awkward situation. I am a TA for a class that I have never taken before. The professor (probably) knows this, but I don't think the students have caught on, since it is a ...
30
votes
5answers
2k views

As an instructor, how to show my appreciation for my TAs' hard work?

As an instructor, I have been fortunate to have had some great TAs, who went above and beyond what was expected of them, and put in a lot of effort to ensure students' learning. I would really like ...
14
votes
1answer
279 views

What are positive and negative outcomes of requiring Ph.D. students to take a pedagogy course?

My mathematics department (where I am employed as faculty) is considering requiring its Ph.D. students to take a two-semester course in pedagogy and educational theory. All of them also TA lower level ...
67
votes
5answers
3k views

Strategies for teaching with facial aphasia (inability to recognize faces aka prosopagnosia, face-blindness)

I'm a math grad student in my first year, which means that I have not yet taught a class (in my program first years grade or provide one-on-one tutoring for students who struggle in calculus). I have ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Tools for managing and scheduling meetings with students?

My advisor has been very busy and a lot of us hardly get quality time with him. he also acknowledges this and says it is usually very difficult to manage appointments and other commitments. He has ...
2
votes
3answers
122 views

Do European PhD programs offer the opportunity to take on teaching assistantship duties?

I know that, in North America, the opportunity is given (and often mandated) to take on teaching assistantships while in a PhD program. I knew that, often, European PhD programs pay you to do RA ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Is university teaching better than high school teaching experience in applying for teaching-funded PhDs?

When applying for graduate assistantships or part-time teaching for grad school scholarships, is university teaching necessarily better than highschool teaching experience? if so, by how much? ...
12
votes
2answers
198 views

Suggestions for working effectively with international students from a non-western culture

I am a Masters graduate student studying finance at a large public university located in a major city. Recently, I accepted a job as a teaching assistant. A significant number of students are from ...
55
votes
6answers
7k views

How to handle possibly subtly flirtatious emails from students?

I got a series of emails from a student. At first, I thought she was being over-polite. But now things are making me very uncomfortable. For instance, at every email she thanks me for giving her good ...
6
votes
2answers
606 views

What's the benefit of taking Teaching Assistant?

I am a first-year international master student in a US statistics department. I am offered a 10-hour teaching assistant appointment next semester. I am considering taking it. I have no idea how to ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How should a teaching-assistant calm his anxious student down in an exam?

At the class quizzes or at the mid- or final exams, I can see that some students are too anxious and nervous. They are not really weak students but too much anxiousness brings their efficiency down ...
40
votes
2answers
5k views

How should a teaching-assistant deal with an angry student?

This happened two semesters ago, when I was teaching-assistant to a class of bachelor students. The lecturer had such marking weights, 30% for teaching assistant class including all the homework and ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

How to express dissension as a grad TA while maintaining professionalism

I have a problem with the courses I'm TAing. I am a math PhD student at a large (supposedly good) state university where the lower-division math classes are taught in the "discussion section" format ...
-1
votes
1answer
105 views

Is it wise to do teaching-assistantship in a university I am not studying in?

The universities from which I earned my BSc. and MSc. degrees are not the same. Last week, a professor who knows me from my BSc. university called me and asked me to accept his teaching assistantship ...
21
votes
8answers
5k views

How should I deal with my groupmate's unprofessional behavior as a TA?

I have a colleague in my group who became TA for a course which we took together, which is taught by our mutual advisor. It is almost a policy that a student can't become TA unless he scores an A in ...
4
votes
4answers
296 views

What are the standard workloads for mathematics TAs at state and private universities in the US?

I am an international student, and now pursuing my Ph.D in pure Math in a not very good (ranking 70+) and relatively small state university in U.S. As usual, I am a supported TA, and I am wondering ...
1
vote
1answer
250 views

As a teaching-assistant, how can I avoid repetitive teaching?

As a teacher assistant, I am always thinking about preparing my students with up-to-dated teaching materials and examples; however, I can see many TAs in my department who teach the content they used ...
3
votes
3answers
171 views

Who pays for TAs?

A TA normally has a hourly contract for working with a professor. Who pays for this contract? The professor's external funding is for research, not education. If the department pays for that, how the ...
7
votes
4answers
744 views

Is it popular to request TA presence in the classroom for all lectures & is it right?

A Professor normally send his TA to conduct some sessions of his course (e.g., for problem solving). It is also possible to ask the TA to attend all sessions to keep the track of the course. This is ...
4
votes
3answers
127 views

How to grade students' lab worksheets to prepare them for a final lab exam?

I am a physics lab TA and I was recently informed that my engineering students will receive a lab final at the end of the semester worth 50 percent of their grade. The final exam is not personally ...
27
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it appropriate for a TA to say “My Students”?

I am a teaching assistant for the first time this semester. A couple of friends have asked how it is going, and I have used phrases like "some of my students..." or "my students are ..." when telling ...
11
votes
6answers
921 views

Is teaching a graduate course with 30 students an unreasonable expectation for a PhD student with a TA contract?

I am a PhD student in a social science field, and am on a teaching assistantship. My contract stipulates that TAs are to work no more than an average of 15 hours per week. For my particular ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

What should I do if I don't know the answer to a question posed by a student?

If I am the TA for a class, what should I do if a student asks me a question which I can't answer? While "tell the truth and say you don't know" is one approach, are there other options?
11
votes
2answers
359 views

How to improve myself as a recitation (discussion,lab,tutorial) teacher?

This question is related to How to improve myself as a lecturer?. However, being a PhD student, my main teaching obligation is leading recitations, i.e. sessions for groups of ~20 students that take ...
10
votes
2answers
332 views

In a tenure-track position application; Is it appropriate to ask for recommendation letter from a professor for whom I only served as a TA?

When applying for a tenure-track academic position in the US right after my PhD (in the US too), is it a good idea to ask for a letter of recommendation from a professor in my graduate school with ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

What to do in recitation?

Forgive me if this is not the right place to ask pedagogical questions, but it seemed the most appropriate. I am a TA for a programming/CS course. This is my first time teaching recitation and I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
271 views

From which level of education, is it better to choose teacher assistants?

I think that it is normal to choose teacher assistants for BSc courses from MSc or PhD students and TAs for MSc courses to be from PhD students; In case that the PhD or MSc students are not ...
8
votes
2answers
652 views

Is it acceptable that a teacher assistant encourage students to read his authored materials too?

During my leisure time, I used to prepare some pamphlets in the topic of courses I always wanted to teach. Each, full of examples and solved problems which I designed and solved myself, not ...
-1
votes
3answers
149 views

How is it common that universities provide assistantship positions for their graduate students? [closed]

Do a lot of graduate programs provide assistantships to their students (e.g. teaching or research assistantships)? How common is it for graduate students to be paid while going to graduate school?
1
vote
0answers
99 views

Do any schools offer teaching or research assistantships via distance education?

I would like to complete an MRes or PhD, but do not live in an area with any schools. I would rather not relocate. I see that many schools offer paid MRes or PhD programs entirely via distance. Do ...
4
votes
3answers
270 views

What is a TA called when he/she is in charge of organization?

I am a non-native speaker and writing my cv. In my subject (mathematics), there are small exercise groups where you have to grade the students' homework and discuss it with them; some are hold by ...
55
votes
9answers
5k views

Should I reward points for an incorrect answer if it is the result of misinformation presented in a TA's office hours?

So a TA came to me asking for advice. He gave wrong information in office hours leading a student to a wrong answer. The TA showed the student how to solve the problem via the wrong statistical test ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

What is the history of teaching assistants (TAs) in France?

I know that in France, as late as the early 20th century, although I'm not sure if this is true now, a university student (undergrad or grad?) would take a nationwide concours exam to receive the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How to deal with students asking very incremental questions?

I'm a TA/grader for an online course in introductory programming. We have students ask us questions related to homework/labs/etc. on Piazza where we can have quick back-and-forth with questions and ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

Can you teach at a community college with a master's degree?

I'm interested in teaching a class at the community college level. I'm not interested in it as a career, but rather because I like teaching people about computer science. How likely is it that I ...
10
votes
1answer
558 views

Student asks TA if his result (figure) is correct

I'm TAing a class that uses Piazza (an online student forum), in addition to the traditional office hours. A student made a (private) post, where he uploaded a MATLAB figure and asked whether it is ...
69
votes
11answers
26k views

“You are paid to answer my questions!” - how to handle silly questions?

How do I handle silly questions? By silly, I mean questions that are unrelated to the material of the course. First, I am a TA. Recently, a student asked me a very silly question at the end of a lab ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

How to describe the relation between a course instructor to his teaching assistant?

How do you describe the relation between a course instructor to his teaching assistant? Is he the "teaching supervisor" to his TA? This is encountered during PhD application. Thanks!
2
votes
2answers
227 views

Contract signing session etiquette for student coaches

I am a first time faculty member straight out of grad school and I have been installed as a director for a "learning center". We hire undergraduate and graduate student "coaches" in the learning ...
26
votes
6answers
5k views

How to prepare for being a TA (Teaching Assistant)?

I start my graduate program next week, which includes spending some of my time as a Teaching Assistant. It is my least favorite part of job, and I do not want to teach in my career after that. I dont ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Regarding “discussion sections” for undergraduate science courses

I will be undertaking my first teaching position as a graduate student in the fall - I will be leading two of the discussion sections for an undergraduate biology course. What sorts of things should ...
11
votes
2answers
932 views

Is there a stigma of assigning the title TA to an undergraduate?

I am entering my senior year of undergraduate study in Computer Science at a small, primarily undergraduate institution. I plan to attend graduate school and pursue a PhD in Computer Science and ...
12
votes
1answer
397 views

Should I talk to my advisor regarding undergrad advising workload?

Recently one of my profs (other than my advisor) told me that I am not doing well in his subject. Should I tell this to my advisor? Actually the reason of me not doing well is doing other jobs ...
14
votes
1answer
403 views

How to effectively supervise grad student calculus teaching assistants (TAs)?

Those of you at universities where calculus is taught in small sections with graduate student instructors; what sort of structure do you have for supervising/mentoring the graduate students and ...